It isn't often I get tongue-tied in front a celebrity—I suppose earning my stripes as a party reporter when I first started out will do that to you—but this past New York Fashion Week, I felt once-again like a green reporter when I interviewed painter Kehinde Wiley at the Hood by Air show for the New York Times. Decked out in an impeccable custom printed suit (made of fabric he had bought in Senegal), his look was an original as his art. Also, the man is just plain cool.
His studio is in Williamsburg, right now down the street from the Ellis Brooklyn offices. We chatted clothes of course (this being fashion week), but he also had interesting things to say about how art and fashion work well yet are at tension with each other—the whole timeless v. ephemeral debate. He was seated near Lee Daniels of Empire fame, and Wiley also noted that of all his accolades (and there are many), he's gotten more calls than any from his work being exhibited on the hit Fox show.
Venus by Paphos (2014), oil on linen