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Kehinde Wiley’s first monumental public sculpture, Rumors of War, will be installed this fall on the Broadway Plaza between 46th and 47th Streets.
Following its presentation in Times Square, Rumors of War will be permanently installed on historic Arthur Ashe Boulevard in Richmond at the entrance to the VMFA, a recent acquisition to the museum’s world-class collection.
Kehinde Wiley is a world-renowned visual artist, best known for his vibrant portrayals of contemporary African-American and African-Diasporic individuals that subvert the hierarchies and conventions of European and American portraiture. Rumors of War, his largest work to date, continues Wiley’s career-long investigation of the politics of representation, race, gender, and power. With this new sculpture, Wiley returns to equestrian portraiture to engage its complicated visual rhetoric of warfare and heroism on an epic scale.
Mounted proudly on its large stone pedestal, Wiley’s monumental bronze sculpture, Rumors of War, is the artist’s direct response to the ubiquitous Confederate sculptures that populate the United States, particularly in the South. Sitting astride a massive horse in a striking pose, Wiley’s young, African-American subject is dressed in urban streetwear.
Standing as a statue to the violence afflicted against bodies every day, Wiley’s work presents a powerful visual repositioning of young black men in our public consciousness while directly engaging the national conversation around controversial monuments and their role in perpetuating incomplete narratives and contemporary inequities.
Rumors of War © 2019 Kehinde Wiley. Used by permission. Presented by Times Square Arts in partnership with the Virginia Museum of Fine Art and Sean Kelly, New York. Photographer: Kylie Corwin for Kehinde Wiley..