American Royalty: It’s Not What You Think

 

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KEHINDE WILEY The Two Sisters, 2012. Oil on linen.

 

I’m insecure about art. I don’t know enough to be an art snob. But I don’t want to be thought of as someone who doesn’t know kitsch when it’s staring at her. So I wasn’t sure what to think of Kehinde Wiley. His paintings are meant to startle, in his own words “go for the jugular.” His colors and patterns are bold. His subject’s postures and expressions are intense. His realistic paintings are larger than life. Continue reading

Boys in the Bushes

boysinthebushI picked up Ariela’s painting yesterday. It was in a juried show at the Peninsula JCC. She called this one “Boys in the Bushes.”  I was told the judges liked the playfulness in the image and the energetic brushstrokes.

Ariela entered the contest before she died. She would have been excited to know it was accepted. It was priced on the high side. I didn’t want anyone to buy it. I’m not ready to sell any of her work. Someone wanted to purchase it. They asked twice.

I don’t know the backstory for most of her paintings, but I know the story for “Boys in the Bushes.” She and her friend Emily were attending the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass concert in Golden Gate Park a few years ago. They decided to leave the concert early rather than use the handicapped accessible port-a-potties. Yes, the stalls were big enough, big enough for a wheelchair to roll right in. But, neither Emily nor Ariela could hold her breath long enough to avoid the intense odor. When Emily noticed two boys relieving themselves in the bushes, she pulled out her camera. Ariela thought this extremely funny.