Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic

Leviathan Zodiac, 2011

The artwork I selected is from Kehinde Wiley found at The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.  He showcases his artwork through a collection called, A New Republic.  His artwork is inspired by what he sees in the streets of Harlem.  His collection is comprised of 60 pieces of art of which all depict the life of African American’s.  Seeing this collection made me appreciate the beauty of African American’s.  While looking at the piece of art with the young black man I began to reflect on the poem, “When I Think of Tamir Rice While Driving” and the video “A Conversation with My Black Son”.  When I see the picture, Leviathan Zodiac I don’t view him as someone threatening or intimidating.  I look beyond his physical characterizes and see someone who is determined, driven, and confident.  After looking all pieces of the art it’s evident that black people carry more muscle mass and maintain a leaner body than other nationalities that often times make them appear threatening.  In the video, the woman references “big scary black man” which is stereotyping the individual before getting to know them.  If more people would take the time to stop being judgmental and learn the history of black people perhaps they would embrace them with love and kindness.  This image is a true testament to the video and poem by Betts Reginald he says “a child, a hidden toy gun, and an officer that fires before his heart beats twice.”  There is outright prejudice in this statement because he automatically assumed the boy who happened to be black had a real gun thus feared for his life.  Society as a whole needs to learn the value of life period.  The color of one’s skin should not dictate who belongs in this world and how they are treated.  Diversity is what makes this country whole.




  1. The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth is a wonderful museum! I’ve been there a couple of times and I’ve really enjoyed it. I agree that this art work goes very well with the recent readings we’ve done in class. I think you made a great point about how society tends to stereotype people by the color of their skin, and not by who they are as a person. We should work harder as a country to take pride of our diversity and differences because that is what makes us special. Everyone should have the right to be judged fairly based on who they are on the inside and not the characteristics on the outside. Wow this picture really does say a lot!


  2. This is a beautiful paining. Your interpretation of this artwork is pretty deep, and thoughtful. I agree with your analysis that it is wrong to stereotype and judge folks based on the color of their skin. That, in my opinion is akin to judging a book by its cover. Your analysis of the artwork is a good reminder that race is only skin deep, as we are all the same color underneath; we at all humans with the exact same needs for love, compassion, and protection. Particularly interesting to me is the artist whose first name is Nigerian. I am Nigerian, so I will be sure to look up more of the artist’s work. Thanks for not only presenting, but interpreting a beautiful work of art.


  3. My wife loves the Fort Worth Moderm Art Museum. We use to love to go and walk around at least once every few weeks to see what new art work was up. I think it’s great how you described his man in the paintings features and how people do sterotype those features as being scary and threatening. The man in this painting looks as if he is proud to be who he is and defining justice by showing that he is a real person rather than just what the color of his skin is. Also I very much agree with you that to this day a lot of people are still uneducated on just what it mean’s to be predjuice and do not take the time to ask themselves what exaclty the term means then I think the toll of predjuice may just drop. As a white male, I have see a lot of people who are white that could not tell you one thing about any black heroic figure in this country or even the orgin of African American people. And it’s not because they dont know.. It’s because they were raised in such a biased world and they refuse to change their perspective. It’s up to us to come togehter and stop and raise awareness about violence, predjuice and many other things that are wrong within our society. Very good blog!


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