Conspicuous Fraud Series #1 (Eminence) by Kehinde Wiley

Matthew Sketch on Conspicuous Fraud Series #1 by Kehinde Wiley

Kehinde Wiley, Conspicuous Fraud Series #1 (Eminence), 2001, oil on canvas. The Studio Museum in Harlem; Museum purchase made possible by a gift from Anne Ehrenkranz, 2002.10.14. © Kehinde Wiley. Courtesy of the artist Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California, and American Federation of Arts.

Hi, my name is Matthew Sketch and I’m an artist from Houston, Texas.


As I gaze at Kehinde Wiley's Conspicuous Fraud Series #1 (Eminence), I look at the face of a stranger but I find this stranger familiar. I believe we are a culmination of all that has come before us and what I believe I see depicted in this painting is an image of a man on the tip of a powerful wave. This wave rises up from within with the knowledge and understanding of one's forefathers. So as we move through life and if we are able to make progress, we are very much moving into unknown territory. We are very much what our ancestors dreamed to be. At least, I believe we should try to be.

         

Notice that the dark matter seems to emanate from both his head and also wanders very near his heart. Is this a thought? Is this the essence of the man? Is this smoke from an internal fire, burning the man slowly from inside out? So, the meaning of this dark matter may be left for interpretation, but what I see for certain is that this dark matter takes up as much of the canvas as the person does. In this ratio, the dark matter presents an almost overwhelming presence, but the face of the man seems still with resolve. He is not scared. The man in this painting has a sense of resolve about him; he does not seem uncertain at all in his business suit (I think it is worth taking a moment to note that this is a well-cut suit for the early 2000s, though we may not see it as such today).  


I, too, have felt like a conspicuous fraud at many times in my life. I have worried if I was capable of doing jobs that I was totally qualified for. It’s called ‘imposter's syndrome” and we almost all suffer from it at some point in life. Whenever this feeling has arisen inside me, I reflect back to the successes that got me to the place where I am now and often I consider the unsure nature of some of those actions. I calm myself by acknowledging that I am very much who my ancestors wanted to be and I am empowered by the understanding that, with every move, I both embody and create cultural legacy. 


To put it very plainly, I believe this is Kehinde's depiction of a very human experience. An act of uncertainty and boldness in the same existence. The embodiment of his own cultural legacy.

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Hola, mi nombre es Matthew Sketch y soy un artista de Houston, Texas. 

 

Cuando miro Conspicuous Fraud Series #1 (Eminence), de Kehinde Wiley, veo la cara de un desconocido pero al mismo tiempo, este desconocido me resulta familiar. Creo que somos la culminación de todo lo que nos ha precedido y lo que creo que veo representado en este cuadro es la imagen de un hombre en la cima de una ola poderosa. Esta ola se eleva desde el interior cuando conocemos y comprendemos a nuestros antepasados. Así que a medida que vivimos y si somos capaces de progresar, nos adentramos en un territorio desconocido. Somos mucho más que lo que nuestros antepasados soñaron ser. Al menos, creo que deberíamos intentar serlo. 

 

Observen que la materia oscura parece emanar de su cabeza y también ondula muy cerca de su corazón. ¿Es esto un pensamiento? ¿Es esta la esencia del hombre? ¿Se trata de humo de un fuego interno, que quema al hombre lentamente de adentro hacia afuera? Por lo tanto, el significado de esta materia oscura puede ser tema de interpretación, pero lo que veo con certeza es que esta materia oscura ocupa tanto espacio del lienzo como la persona. En esta proporción, la materia oscura tiene una presencia casi abrumadora, pero el rostro del hombre parece estar inmóvil y con una expresión decidida. No está asustado. El hombre de esta obra tiene un sentido de determinación; no parece sentirse inseguro en su traje formal (creo que vale la pena tomarse un momento para observar que este es un traje de buen corte para principios de 2000, aunque quizás no lo percibamos como tal hoy en día). 

 

Yo también me he sentido como un fraude evidente en muchas ocasiones en mi vida. Dudaba de mi capacidad para hacer trabajos para los que estaba totalmente capacitado. Esto se denomina "síndrome del impostor" y casi todos lo sufrimos en algún momento de la vida. Siempre que este sentimiento ha surgido dentro de mí, reflexiono sobre los éxitos que me llevaron a donde estoy ahora y a menudo considero la naturaleza insegura de algunas de esas acciones. Me tranquilizo reconociendo que soy aquel que mis antepasados querían ser y me siento fortalecido por la comprensión de que, con cada movimiento, encarno y creo un legado cultural. 

 

Para decirlo con sencillez, creo que esta es la descripción de Kehinde de una experiencia muy humana. Un acto de incertidumbre y audacia en la misma existencia. La encarnación de su propio legado cultural. 

La transcripción
Matthew Sketch sits in a yellow chair his studio, a whiteboard with paper tapped to it is in the backgound, he has a shaved head, wears a purple plaid shirt and black jeans

Matthew Sketch, Artist, Salt Lake City, UT



Matthew Sketch grew up in Houston, Texas where he worked as an industrial designer. Since 2012, he has practiced full-time as an artist and is currently based with his wife in Salt Lake City, Utah. His motifs vary widely from animals and celebrities to interiors and abstractions. Sketch’s practice finds its coherence not in content, but in approach. His works grow out of his personal relationships and his sensitivity to the objects and spaces—memories attach themselves to a particular kind of intimacy that he achieves in his solitary encounters with nature. His gestures sprawl across the canvas in strong colors and thick strokes as if arranged by magnetic force. These dynamic surfaces draw the viewer in—an invitation to see the world from inside Sketch’s eye: wild, complex, and full of emotion.


IG: @Matthew_sketch

MatthewSketch.com

Interview with Matthew Sketch: Create Magazine

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