HIP HOP AND CONTEMPORARY PORTRAITURE
Teacher Resource Packet
National Portrait Gallery
About the exhibit
Vocabulary terms and definitions
Brief bio of artist
3. About the exhibit:RECOGNIZE!
Since its inception in the late 1970s, hip hop has become hugely influential in America.
This exhibit demonstrates a variety of work yet each clearly reflect hip hops influence on contemporary portraiture. In their visual diversity, these works not only highlight hip hops vitality and beauty, but also suggest compelling new directions for the future of portrayal.
Throughout its history, hip hop has inspired people to use their minds and their talent to create something larger than simply themselves. Whether they have found expression through DJ-ing, MC-ing, breakdancing, or art-making, hip hop has given voice and visibility to a new generation. In this exhibit, we recognize just a few of those who have portrayed and are a part of the culture itself: Kehinde Wiley, photographer David Scheinbaum, video artist Jefferson Pinder, poet Niki Giovanni, sculptor Shinique Smith, and graffiti muralists Tim Conlon and Dave Hupp (Fortune, Goodyear, and Boone, 2008).
recognize- v. (used with object), -nized, -nizing.1.to identify as something or someone previously seen, known
RECOGNIZE connotes a paying of respect to the progenitors (originators) of the hip hop genre, while acknowledging those who have continued to push the limits of hip hops power as an outlet for POSITIVE expression.
Hip Hop- A culture and form of ground breaking music and self expression with elements that consisted of the elements of graffiti art, DJing, MCing, and breaking. Inspired by: funk, soul, rhythm & blues, jazz, rock heavy metal, salsa, soca (calypso). It has given voice to a wide range of previously unheard individuals. It has made tangible what much that previously had gone unacknowledged.
portrait- n. a likeness of a person, esp. of the face, as a painting, drawing, or photograph: a gallery of family portraits
5. PORTRAIT ARTIST
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Kehinde Wileygrew up in Los Angeles and received an MFA
from Yale in 2001. Kehinde Wiley has firmly situated himself
Within art historys portrait painting tradition. As a
Contemporary descendent of a long line of portraitists,
Including Reynolds, Gainsborough, Titian, Ingres, among
others. Wiley engages the signs and visual rhetoric of the
Heroic, powerful, majestic and the sublime in his
Representation of urban, black and brown men found
throughout the world.
6. Student Objectives(pre and post visit)
become virtual visitors of the exhibit RECOGNIZE!
broaden the definition of portraiture by viewing artworks created by contemporaryartist, Kehinde Wiley
discuss the artwork of Kehinde Wiley and the themes of power and identity through portraiture
analyze his artwork, compare and contrast his work to Renaissance artwork
be able to observe and discuss the tie between the human condition, social aspirations, and societys effect on the world
engage in discussion about stereotypes and how the media plays a role in encouraging stereotype
understand the visual arts in relation to history and culture
7. Lesson plans(after viewing the exhibit)
Lesson #1: Create their own artwork using digital photography emulating his style of recreating artwork in a modern way and learn about composition through the Renaissance work.
Lesson #2: Create a full length body portrait expressing an attitude about themselves with attention to composition, concept, and craftsmanship
Lesson #3: Discuss and interpret the style and inspiration of portraiture in Neo-Classical art. Compare and contrast the work of Kehinde Wiley, Raphael, Dominique Ingres, and Anthony van Duke
Lesson #4: Create a definition and rubric for identifying and interpreting stereotype in art and advertising. Analyze an advertisement in a magazine which uses a person to sell a product.
8. Lesson 1:
Lesson Description: Students will learn about the artwork of Kehinde Wiley, a contemporary
African-American artist. They should be able to analyze his artwork, compare and contrast his work
to Renaissance artwork, and create their own artwork using digital photography emulating his style
of recreating artwork in a modern way and learn about composition through the Renaissance work.
Lesson Length: Four class periods or of 90 minutes
Vocabulary: Renaissance, composition, modern, compare, contrast.
Students will begin to learn about composition using the Renaissance
masters as inspiration.
Students will gain practice on critiquing each other's work.
Students will get practice using the digital camera.
Students will learn about a contemporary artist.
Materials needed: Whiteboard, LCD projector, Internet Access, Digital Cameras (with memory card),
Memory Card Reader.
WARM UP: Introduction of Kehinde Wiley - Portrait of a Venetian Ambassador,
Age 59, II will be displayed on a white board. (artwork, artwork title, and sample questions
Briefly discuss Kehinde Wiley's biography by showing a short movie and highlighting certain
portions of his biography on his personal website.
2. Johannes Verspronck's "AndriesStilte as a
Standard Bearer, 1640" will be compared to
Kehinde Wiley's "Portrait of AndriesStilte, 2005". Students should compare and contrast the two
pieces. Images should be set in the split screen mode.
9. Students should then be split into groups of two to research a Renaissance artwork on the internet
and reinterpret it using modern day clothing, background and technology, specifically a digital
4. Students might spend the rest of the class researching Renaissance artwork to
find a piece of artwork that they would like to "modernize." Students should bring their choice
of Renaissance artwork to emulate to their next class for approval by the teacher.
Closing Activity: Students will have a critique of their artwork with their peers by displaying their
Work. Some of the critique questions could be the following:
How did the artwork emulate the Renaissance artwork? What are some positive qualities of the
artwork- how is it successful?
What are some things about the artwork that could be improved upon- or- if you were to do it
yourself, what would you do differently?
Extension Activities: Students can continue to work on a series of artwork based on one
Renaissance master's artwork or do the lesson in acrylic paint.
10. AndriesStilte as Stand Bearer, 1640
Oil on canvas
Portrait of AndriesStilte, 2006
Oil on canvas
11. Lesson 2:
Attitude Portraits Objective: Students will look at and interpret contemporary artists dealing with the theme
of identity through portrait and self-portrait works. (Art history/cultures)
Objective: Students will create a 34 to full-length body self-portrait expressing an attitude about themselves
With attention to composition, contrast, concept, and craftsmanship. (Art production)
Students will interpret meaning of artist works Wiley and Sherman.
Resources: Kehinde Wileys painting Triple Portrait of Charles I, 2007 from the RECOGNIZE! Exhibit
(additional suggestion: Images ofCindy Shermans photography from her film stills)
Introduction/Motivation: Teacher will take full-length body shot of students and print these for student use.
Teacher should engage conversation of different messages and meaning artists can
convey through their self-portraits. Teacher will ask students about the differences reflected concern on how
other people view them versus how they see themselves or wish to be seen. ? What do you think Kehinde
Wileys paintings of men mean? (What do you think Cindy Sherman is saying in her image of Film Still #?)
Art images have been used to influence politics and social issues such as gender bias and racism throughout
history. The media icons in advertisements, slogans and more all influence our perception and our
perceptions of our truths. We need to understand how images influence our thinking. How it creates a
perception of truth that isnt the truth.
Teacher will stress that good art projects might include not only making art but also dissecting some of these
visual images and discuss how they influence how you feel about the topic.
12. Procedures: 1) Teacher will instruct students to do a practice sketch of themselves from the full- length
bodyphoto teacher has taken. 2) Teacher will instruct students to make a brainstorm list of ideas to
drawing that tells something about themselves. Teacher suggests that the lists can be done with using
symbolism or metaphors. 3) Teacher will assist students to narrow down ideas and choose something that
is meaningful to them. 4) Teacher will have students sketch out ideas from their brainstorming lists.
5) Teacher will help students with their composition by stressing the use of design elements and principles.
6) Teacher will assist students cutting large roll paper into sheet sizes of 24x30. 7) Teacher will instruct
students to transfer their design to the large paper. 8) Teacher will remind students to use full rang of value
when coloring in their designs.
Materials: Art history books, pap