Emily Spalding - 2020 Journalism Senior Colloquium
From Margo Bresnen
When Kehinde Wiley, an artist known for distinct portraits of African Americans, including the presidential portrait of President Barack Obama, visited Richmond, Virginia, he was particularly struck by the colossal statues honoring Confederate veterans that line the famous Monument Avenue. Years later, Wiley returned with his response: Rumors Of War, a towering bronze statue inspired by Confederate general J. E. B. Stuart’s monument. Wiley’s work, which stands facing Monument Avenue, bears resemblance to its counterparts on the avenue, with one major exception: his subject sports Nike high-tops, a hoodie, and dreadlocks. This project strives to contextualize the significance of Wiley’s work within Richmond’s historical and artistic spheres, as well as on a national level.