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Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence

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Kehinde Wiley World Stage Brazil II Patch

This square patch features Kehinde Wiley’s 2009 painting Alegoria a Lei do Ventre Livre, reimagined from A.D. Bressae’s Alegoria a Lei do Ventre Livre (Allegory of the Law of Free Birth). The gesso scultpure serves as an allegory for the 1871 law that awarded “freedom” to children who were born of slave parents. Under this legislation, unless slave owners were compensated, these children were required to stay with their slave parents until they reached 21 years of age. The irony of this law is bypassed in A.D. Bressae’s rendering of a young Black boy proudly holding a notice of law in one hand, and a broken chain in the other. Wiley’s rendition features a model that is less-than-enthusiastic for such a legislation that ultimately bought slave owners more time against abolitionists. Dye-sublimation with green merrowed borders and iron on backing. Measures 3 x 3 in.

Net proceeds from your purchase support the artist in residence program Black Rock Sénégal, founded by Wiley in 2019.

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