Kehinde Wiley's "Alios Itzhak" (L) and "Mahmud Abu Razak" (R) skateboard decks
(Courtesy The Jewish Museum)
"Leviathan Zodiac" dog tag
Hopping on board (or ollying, we should say) where Murakami, Jeff Koons, and Damien Hirst's custom designs for Supreme fell off, meticulous portraitist Kehinde Wiley is hawking a line of skateboards at New York’s Jewish Museum gift shop to accompany its exhibition of the Israeli installment of his World Stage series. The boards bare the likenesses of the Ethiopian, Arab, and Jewish men he found while combing malls and bars, and whom he featured in the show standing regally in old master-style portraits against backdrops of vibrant patterns in bright, contrasting palettes based on ceremonial Jewish papercuts.
For those interested in partaking of a full-on Wiley shopping spree, the Jewish Museum gift shop is also peddling World Stage Israel dogtag necklaces and collectible shoelaces from Wiley’s collaboration with PUMA’s African Unity Program. The Wiley embroidered denim jackets are still in the works, while we can only cross our fingers and hope that the next batch of factory-produced Wiley merch will mark a return to tried and true art world schwag like tote bags and buttons.