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The World Stage: Israel is the latest installment of Kehinde Wiley’s colossal The World Stage series. Through Wiley’s comprehensive exchange, the artist’s contemporary yet historical oeuvre accentuates international cultures and their denizens, evoking discourse on an ever-expanding examination of globalization. Kehinde Wiley, who traveled to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, discusses his connection and engagement with the world through The World Stage series: After a while...I started to see certain patterns emerge, patterns such as ways of dressing, patterns of speech, a type of post-black urban sensibility that supersedes race, that supersedes tribal group. It is, in many ways, something to do with class affiliation. The positioning of Israel within The World Stage series is crucial and key in understanding the project given that each country is selected for its unique political and social importance in the world arena in the year 2011. The work included in The World Stage: Israel specifically concentrates on contemporary Israeli youth culture utilizing discotheques, malls, bars, and sporting venues as locations to scout participants. All of the models come from a full range of ethnic and social backgrounds. In addition, the work relies heavily upon a desire to see the decorative traditions that have come out of Israel, historically juxtaposed with some of the more contemporary modes of national and personal expression.

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Alios Itzhak (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil and gold enamel on canvas
95.937 x 72 in (243.7 x 182.9 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Mizrath/Shiviti (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil on canvas
72 x 59.937 in (182.9 x 152.2 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Benediter Brkou (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil and gold and silver enamel on canvas
95.75 x 71.75 in (243.2 x 182.2 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Kalkidan Mashasha (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil and gold enamel on canvas
45 x 36 in (114.3 x 91.4 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Solomon Mashash (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil and gold enamel on canvas
72 x 60.125 in (182.9 x 152.7 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Leviathan Zodiac (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil and gold enamel on canvas
95.75 x 71.75 in (243.2 x 182.2 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Abed Al Ashe and Chaled El Awari (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil and gold enamel on canvas
95.937 x 84 in (243.7 x 213.4 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Shmuel Yosef (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil on canvas
45 x 36 in (114.3 x 91.4 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Mahmud Abu Razak (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil on canvas
72 x 60.125 in (182.9 x 152.7 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Mukat Brhan (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil and gold enamel on canvas
45 x 36 in. (114.3 x 91.4 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Simahue Walla (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil wash on paper
40 x 29 in (101.6 x 73.7 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Likunt Daniel Ailin (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil wash on paper
40 x 29 in (101.6 x 73.7 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Kalkidan Mashasha (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil wash on paper
40 x 29 in (101.6 x 73.7 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Mukat Brhan (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil wash on paper
38 x 29 in (96.5 x 73.7 cm)

Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley
Hamza El Essawi (The World Stage: Israel), 2011
Oil and gold enamel on canvas
72 x 60.125 in (182.9 x 152.7 cm)