Kehinde Wiley - Evening & Day Editions London Thursday, June 6, 2024 | Phillips
  • “I understand blackness from the inside out. What my goal is, is to allow the world to see the humanity that I know personally to be truth.”
    —Kehinde Wiley
    Kehinde Wiley’s busts ingeniously appropriate grand European portraiture traditions to shine light on black figures that have been excluded from representation in the art historical canon, a reprehension that is long overdue. Using a notoriously exclusive category of art that was reserved for only the highest of western society – nobility and royalty – Wiley inserts black figures into these historically impenetrable roles, giving them the status and grandeur they deserve. In Louis XVI, The Sun King, a bust of 2006, Wiley reimagines a young black man dressed in contemporary urban street attire poised as a seventeenth-century monarch. Influenced by Bernini, a Baroque Italian master of marble, the figure turns in resolute composure while a gust of wind billows his hoodie, as if calmly facing a challenge. Assuming a powerful posture that exudes confidence and splendour, Wiley’s busts coronate black men, affording them the status of kings.


    Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Bust of Louis XIV, 1665, Palace of Versailles.
    Image: GRANGER - Historical Picture Archive / Alamy Stock Photo

    If art can be at the service of anything, its about letting us see a state of grace for those people who rarely get to be able to be seen that way.”
    —Kehinde Wiley


Louis XVI, the Sun King

Cast marble dust and resin multiple.
25.4 x 23 x 12 cm (10 x 9 x 4 3/4 in.)
Signed, dated '07' and numbered 136/250 in black ink on the underside, published by Cerealart Multiples, Philadelphia.

Full Cataloguing

£6,000 - 8,000 

Sold for £8,255

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+44 20 7318 4024

Rebecca Tooby-Desmond
Specialist, Head of Sale, Editions

Robert Kennan
Head of Editions, Europe

Anne Schneider-Wilson
Senior International Specialist, Editions

Louisa Earl
Associate Specialist, Editions

Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 6 - 7 June 2024