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PUMA: Kehinde Wiley Exhibition | 14-18.4.2010 – Milano

La prossima settimana, da Mercoledì 14 a Domenica 18 Aprile, PUMA presenterà presso il prorpio showroom di Milano la mini-mostra di Kehinde Wiley, parte del progetto Puma Africa. Per celebrare i Mondiali di quest’anno e la lunga partnership del brand con le varie squadre africane, PUMA ha chiesto all’artista di Los Angeles di realizzare 3 dei suoi celebri ritratti ispirandosi a 3 noti atleti africani, ovvero Samuel Eto’o (Cameroon), John Mensah (Ghana) ed Emmanuel Eboué (Costa D’Avorio). Presentata lo scorso Gennaio a Berlino, la mini-mostra associata al progetto è già stata presentata in alcune tra le più importanti gallerie d’Europa e USA e ora arriva anche in Italia in concomitanza con la settimana del Design di Milano.

Sul ‘more’ il comunicato ufficiale del progetto, i lavori in mostra e un breve video.

Mercoledì 14 a Domenica 18 Aprile 2010
Kehinde Wiley Exhibition @Showroom Pum
Via Tortona 37 – Milano

PUMA commissions Contemporary Artist Kehinde Wiley to create portraits of African Football Players to Celebrate World Cup 2010 Campaign

To herald the start of a World Cup year and to celebrate PUMA’s long-standing partnership with African football (the Company sponsors 12 African teams, four of which have qualified for World Cup), PUMA has partnered with Kehinde Wiley, one of the world’s most sought-after artists, and commissioned him to create four original works of art inspired by three of football’s most decorated players.  Wiley is best known for using contemporary African American men in poses taken from the annals of art history and for his distinctive use of elaborate, graphic and colorful wallpaper-like backgrounds.

The four PUMA-commissioned portraits by Kehinde Wiley were unveiled at an opening in Berlin on January 20, 2010

PUMA-sponsored football stars; Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon, John Mensah of Ghana and Emmanuel Eboué of Ivory Coast sat for Wiley as he painted three individual portraits of each player wearing their national team kits.  A fourth ‘Unity’ Portrait was painted with all three players together, symbolizing the united countries of Africa.  The players’ pose was inspired by a pendant Wiley discovered while touring the Continent.  In the ‘Unity’ Portrait, the players are wearing the PUMA Unity Kit, a limited edition uniform designed to be a third kit shared by all African teams, symbolizing unity. The brown pigment in the kit is a customized pantone PUMA created by mixing actual soil samples from four different African nations—Ghana, Cameroon, Cote D’Ivoire and Mozambique. The brown to blue color gradient represents the soil to the sky progression.  In each portrait, Wiley captures the essence of each player using the rich heritage, customs and people of Africa as inspiration.

“PUMA is fortunate to have partnered with such a pivotal artist as Kehinde Wiley,” said Antonio Bertone, Chief Marketing Office, PUMA AG.  “His keen eye for design, color and composition, brilliantly capture the spirit and passion of Africa – and the players he painted. His style perfectly complements the vibrant culture of modern Africa and the PUMA brand.”

The individual portraits, measuring 5 feet by 6 feet and the ‘Unity’ portrait measuring 9 feet by 12 feet, were unveiled in Berlin on January, 20 2010. The portraits will then travel as an exhibition beginning in February to Paris, London, New York, Beijing and Milan, ending in South Africa in June for the World Cup.

Born in Los Angeles to an African American mother and a Nigerian father, Wiley describes his relationship with Africa as “one of searching and longing.” Kehinde, which means “second born of twins” in Yoruba, grew up without knowing his father and curiosity led him to Nigeria at the age of 20 to retrace his roots.  Upon meeting his father, Wiley completed a series of portraits of him, and later, in 2007, returned to Africa to compile a body of work entitled “The World Stage: Africa Lagos-Dakar,” which was exhibited at the Studio Museum in Harlem.  At age 32, he represents the African-American cultural explosion that has gripped the world.  With an MFA from the esteemed Yale University School of Art, Kehinde Wiley’s work is sought after in major galleries and museums around the world.