This month, celebrated New-York portrait painter, Kehinde Wiley will receive the U.S Department of State Medal for Arts, for his use of art to promote cultural diplomacy.
The award will be presented by U.S Secretary of State John Kerry on January 21st. (continues below... )
Kehinde Wiley is world renown for his incredibly realistic paintings of African people, in heroic poses.
The award announcement was made via a celebratory Press Release sent out yesterday by Kehinde Wiley's Los Angeles gallery, Roberts & Tilton.
The U.S. Department of State Medal of Arts is an award given to artists for their commitment to Art in Embassies (AIE), a diplomatic program designed to foster collaboration between USA artists and their peers abroad. The awards started in 2012, and its past honourees include Carrie Mae Weems, Kiki Smith, Shahzia Sikander, Jeff Koons, among others.
Born 1977 to a Nigerian Father and African American mother, Kehinde Wiley's interest in arts began in his childhood. At age of 12, he spent a short time at an art school in Russia, subsequently earned his BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, and his MFA from Yale University School of Art.