'Empire' Set Decorators and DIA Like This Painter's Vivid Work
March 19th, 2015, 4:54 PM
You probably don't know New York artist Kehinde Wiley's name. We didn't either until Dustin Block clued us at MLive.
He's a 37-year-old painter in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, who created the vivid oil work above that was in many scenes on "Empire," the TV drama that wrapped up its season Wednesday night with 16.5 million viewers.
Wiley's painting, "Officer of the Hussars" has been seen hanging in an office throughout the first season of Fox's hit show.
The DIA owns the painting, which shows a black man on horseback, holding a sword, posed in a scene typically reserved for white males from art history. The piece is dated 2007 and was acquired by the museum.
The DIA bought the nine-foot by nine-foot canvas with support from a donors' group called Friends of African and African-American Art, according to its website.
In all, four works by Wiley (or, more likely, prints of them) were featured in the smash series about a hip hop music company, Empire Entertainment, and how the founders' family fights for control. Fox renewed it for 2016.
A short Reddit thread at the Detroit subreddit has comments from admirers and detractors of "Officer of the Hussars."