About Kehinde Wiley:

Known for his virtuosic portrayals of Diasporic Africans, including the official portrait of President Obama, Kehinde Wiley has diversified portraiture, updating its symbolic vocabulary to disrupt the cultural assumptions attached to skin color. His work is delicate yet forceful, both steeped in art history and critically of the moment.

The Los Angeles-born, New York-based artist’s widely recognized portraits weigh the dynamics of power, culture, and historic narratives. His works reimagine classic European portraits by replacing their subjects with black and brown men and women he personally identifies from various US cities and the capitals of Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Caribbean, and Latin America.

At the core of Kehinde Wiley’s practice is an analysis of the intersecting points between cultural and aesthetic values and existing historical narratives. In this charged moment, these discourses reveal how relations of power produce, sustain, and reinforce particular interpretations of transcultural exchanges and subject positions.

A hallmark of his career, Wiley was selected by President Barack Obama to paint his official portrait for the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. The Smithsonian museum’s first presidential portrait by an African American artist was unveiled in February 2018.

He recently presented “Rumors of War,” his first public artwork, in New York City’s Times Square before the sculpture was permanently installed at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond.

Wiley’s monumental bronze sculpture is the artist’s direct response to the ubiquitous Confederate sculptures that populate the United States, particularly in the South, and 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.

Presidential Portrait of Barack Obama
'Rumors of War' by Kehinde Wiley, Times Square
Kehinde Wiley, Sleep (2008). © Kehinde Wiley. Image courtesy of the Rubell Museum.

About Black Rock:

Situated above Yoff Bay in the bustling, vibrant city of Dakar, Senegal, Black Rock seeks to address the imbalance of the dominant media narrative concerning Africa. The residency brings artists to a waterfront compound to live and work, where each spends 1-3 months creating new work and experiencing the local culture.

Named for the volcanic black rocks that line the property’s shoreline, Black Rock also includes a personal residence and studio space for Wiley, as he seeks to divide his time between New York and West Africa and interact with the artists in residence.

The multi-disciplinary artist residency program is designed to bring together an international group of visual artists, writers, and filmmakers for a period of self-reflection, practice development and cultural exploration and cross-cultural collaboration.

Black Rock
Black Rock
Black Rock
Black Rock

"Our mission is to support new artistic creation through collaborative exchange and to incite change in the global discourse about what Africa means today."

- Kehinde Wiley
Black Rock
Devin B. Johnson in Black Rock
Photographer Mamadou Gomis
Grace Lynne Haynes
Grace Lynne Haynes
Kambui Olujimi
'Walk with me Series' by Kambui Olujimi
Photographer Mamadou Gomis
Ytasha Womack
Photographer Mamadou Gomis
Ytasha Womack
Yagazie Ledi Francisca in Black Rock
Photography by Yagazie Ledi Francisca
Photographer TBC
Heather Jones and Rafael Rodrigues Gomes Da Silva
Photographer TBC
Heather Jones
Zohra Opoku
Zohra Opoku


VIP event at Black Rock in Senegal

Unique brand leadership experience at Black Rock in Senegal

Launch event with Kehinde Wiley

Advertising commission by Kehinde Wiley

Brand-sponsored public artwork by Kehinde Wiley

Sponsorship of one or more artists-in-residence, with or without naming rights

US and/or traveling exhibition sponsorship featuring one or more artists-in-residence

US event sponsorship featuring one or more artists-in-residence

Studio visits with emerging artists (Senegal or worldwide)

Culinary programming
Press coverage and name association with Kehinde Wiley

Shareable content generated from various activations

Recognition of efforts to promote diversity and inclusivity and to correct contemporary inequities

Onsite cultural exchange for brand leadership and/or consumers in Senegal

Association with and access to an elite community of up-and-coming artists

Photographer Kylie Corwin
Dakar, Senegal
Photographer Kylie Corwin
Dakar, Senegal
Black Rock
Kehinde Wiley at Black Rock
Kehinde Wiley at Black Rock