Kehinde Wiley’s painting A Portrait of a Young Gentleman (2021) was created as a contemporary response to Thomas Gainsborough's iconic Blue Boy portrait (1770). His painting reimagines Gainsborough's young white subject as a Black, Senegalese surfer and replaces the original moody wooded landscape with a vibrant floral backdrop.
Wiley’s new work is presented in conversation with Thomas Gainsborough’s Blue Boy, purchased by collectors Henry and Arabella Huntington 100 years ago. A deep connection exists between the museum’s most famous painting and the artist who is known for creating one of the most beloved presidential portraits of our time. A native of Los Angeles, Wiley has often spoken about his childhood visits to The Huntington’s British portrait gallery and how they inspired him to become an artist.
Kehinde Wiley's A Portrait of a Young Gentleman is currently on view in the Huntington Art Gallery, Thornton Portrait Gallery.