I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.
How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!
Dante and Beatrice 1884 by Henry Holiday
He loved her from the moment he set eyes on her. He was nine. She spoke to him but once, briefly in passing…only to die a few years later. Heartbroken, he remained forever devoted to her. She would become the main inspiration for Dante’s romantic poem, La Vita Nuova. In that, she will live forever.
How does Beatrice kindle love? Dante narrates..
In her eyes my lady bears Love
by which she makes noble what she gazes on:
where she passes, all men turn their look on her
and she makes the heart tremble in him she greets,
so that all pale, he lowers his eyes and sighs, then,
over all his failings: anger and pride
fleeing before her.
Help me ladies, to do her honour.
All sweetness, all humble thought
are born in the heart of him who hears her speak,
and he who first saw her is blessed.
How she looks when she smiles a little,
can not be spoken of, or held in mind,
she is so rare a miracle and gentle.
– Dante Alighieri
The World Stage-Jamaica: The exhibition features Jamaican men and women assuming poses taken from 17th and 18th Century British portraiture, the first one in the ‘World Stage’ series to feature portraits of women. (Read More)
The World Stage-Brazil: During Wiley’s residency in Rio de Janeiro, Afro-Brazilian men became the impetus for the majestic paintings, inspired by the iconic nationalistic sculptures that line the city streets and anchor its parks. (Read More)
The World Stage-Africa, Lagos ~ Dakar features paintings from Senegal and Nigeria. (Read More)
The World Stage-France: For his first European exhibition, Wiley set off to seek out African cultures and the colonial history of France in Africa (1880-1960) as he explored Morocco, Tunisia, Gabon, Republic of Congo and Cameroon. (Read More)
Down: An unsettling series of prone bodies — some a product of the ravages of war, some contorted into erotic revelry, while others embody the majesty and severity of entombed saints. (Read More)
The World Stage-China: The World Stage continues Wiley’s investigation into the blurry divide between urban/highbrow and traditional/contemporary representation. (Read More)
– Stay tuned for The World Stage HAITI, coming soon.
– About Kehinde Wiley