Abstract vs. Figurative

September 16, 2014 11:22 PM

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Abstract vs. Figurative

Among the most well known and commercially successful American artists today are Kehinde Wiley and John Currin, both figurative painters of amazing skill, and both drawing inspiration from the art of Old Masters. Last weekend, LA art lovers had the chance to encounter them both. Kehinde Wiley had an opening of an exhibition for his new paintings in Culver City at Roberts & Tilton gallery, and John Currin was interviewed by James Cuno, President and CEO of the J. Paul Getty Trust.

A decade ago, when I encountered Kehinde Wiley's art for the first time, I was impressed and intrigued by his large-scale portraits of young African American men striking dramatic poses borrowed from official portraits of European aristocracy of the bygone era. Since then, the artist produced hundre...

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