Yes, You Too Can Smooze with Artist Kehinde Wiley at the Amref Health Africa ArtBall 

On a trip to the Brooklyn Museum to see Giants: Art from the Dean Collection of Swizz Beatz and Alicia Keys (whose musical, Hell’s Kitchen, was just nominated for a Best Musical Tony), you’ll see not one, but two single portraits of the couple from famed artist Kehinde Wiley. He’s also the man behind the official portrait of President Barack Obama for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. 

Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence, The Museum of Fine Arts
The Death of Hyacinth, Kehinde Wiley, 2022. Image: courtesy of the artist and Galerie Templon. © 2022 Kehinde Wiley.

Wiley’s large-scale paintings feature Black men and women in grandeur, often with floral motif backgrounds, portraying people of color in positions of power and dignity. It’s enough to make us all say, “I would love to hang with Kehinde!” 

Well, here is your chance. The acclaimed artist is being honored at the Amref Health Africa 2024 ArtBall with the Rees Visionary Award. Named after their founder Dr. Thomas Rees, the award honors individuals who have changed the discourse around African and Black art.

Along with an open bar and grazing table, the evening will feature a Contemporary African and Black online art auction hosted by Sotheby’s, with art curated by Storm Ascher, Natalie Kates, Cierra Britton, Alexandra Scotland and Nadia Nascimento. Donating artists include Hank Willis Thomas, Adama Delphine Fawundu, Jamel Robinson and more.

Satchel Lee
Image: courtesy Satchel Lee.

Carmelo Anthony, Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee are co-chairing the charity gala’s evening festivities. In addition, photographer Satchel Lee, the Lees’ daughter, has also supplied an auction piece.  

Tickets are now available for the Amref Health Africa 2024 ArtBall, which will be held on May 4, 2024, in Brooklyn, New York. The online art auction closes on May 6, 2024, at 12 p.m. ET.   

Updated: April 30, 2024 — 6:01 pm