Media advisory: Tickets on sale soon for Kehinde Wiley’s artist talk at the Saint Louis Art Museum

By | September 5, 2018

“Kehinde Wiley”, 2018; courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles. Photo by Brad Ogbonna.

Note: This lecture is sold out.

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 5, 2018—Kehinde Wiley will discuss his artistic practice at the Saint Louis Art Museum during the opening of an exhibition of 11 commissioned portraits of people the artist met during a 2017 visit to St. Louis.

The lecture begins at 7 pm on Oct. 19 in the museum’s Farrell Auditorium. Tickets are $20, and $15 for museum members. Tickets go on sale Sept. 18 for museum members and Sept. 21 for the general public, subject to availability. Tickets can be purchased in person at the museum or through MetroTix, which charges a service fee. To become a museum member, visit

Kehinde Wiley creates large-scale oil paintings of contemporary African-American subjects that address the politics of race and power in art. Recalling the grand traditions of European and American portraiture, Wiley depicts his models in poses adapted from historic paintings. Wiley studied the museum’s collection to identify works he would reference in the exhibition, and—during a 2017 visit to St. Louis—he invited people he encountered in neighborhoods in north St. Louis and Ferguson to pose for the paintings.

Wiley also is the first African-American artist to paint an official portrait of a U.S. President for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. The portrait of Barack Obama was unveiled in February.

The free exhibition is curated by Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art, and Hannah Klemm, assistant curator of modern and contemporary art, with Molly Moog, research assistant. The exhibition will be on view in galleries 249 and 250 from Oct. 19 through Feb. 10, 2019. It is supported by a grant from the Trio Foundation of St. Louis and a gift from Mary Ann and Andy Srenco.

CONTACT: Matthew Hathaway, 314.655.5493,