Kehinde Wiley, most known for his portrait of President Barack Obama, will create a new version of Thomas Gainsborough’s 18th century “The Blue Boy” painting.
According to the New York Times, Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens commissioned the 44-year-old to reimagine the iconic artwork. The piece will be revealed on Oct. 2 in the museum’s Thornton Portrait Gallery in San Marino, California.
Additionally, it will hang next to Gainsborough’s piece and can be seen at the gallery until Jan. 3, 2022.
Huntington President Karen R. Lawrence said in a statement, “Just as scholars come to The Huntington to study and reinterpret our significant collections, with this commission we are delighted that Kehinde Wiley will re-envision our iconic work, The Blue Boy, and Grand Manner portraiture in a powerful way. Across the breadth of our library, art, and botanical collections, we are inviting perspectives that alter the way we see tradition itself.”
Wiley is a Yale University-trained painter and is widely known for depicting contemporary African-Americans in regal positions with backdrops that reference an older century.
(Photos from left: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images, The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens)