A few weeks ago J and I braved the snow and bitter cold and were rewarded with a completely wonderful evening at the Brooklyn Museum. The Members Preview and reception for the new Kehinde Wiley exhibit was packed, and awesome.
The glass-walled lobby is always beautiful, and I'm not going to turn down the free bars they set up inside it, but the real magic was the Harlem Chamber Players and the Met Opera singers that performed with them. It was thrilling and electric and an excellent surprise start to the visit.
The art wasn't bad either.
From stained glass to bronze sculpture to the gilded scenes heavy with religious symbolism above, Wiley's clearly got technical chops. It was impressive to see such a high level of skill and artistry from one person across so many different mediums.
The heart of the show, though, was the humanity and dignity Wiley brought to his subjects, and his juxtaposition of current, everyday people and objects against the ornate backgrounds and classical poses and styles in an art form that used to be reserved for the noble and wealthy.
Portraiture for the modern masses.
These pictures don't even begin to do justice to the beauty and grace of Wiley's work. I couldn't pick a favorite painting - they were all so powerful and fantastic.
Between the art, the music, and the two free drinks a pop, I'd say it was one of our better date nights - and that was before we followed it up with a jerk chicken feast at the Islands. Definitely worth venturing out into the cold.