Kehinde Wiley x Puma @ Deitch

Thursday, February 18, 2010 | |

I stopped by Deitch on Wednesday to check out Kehinde Wiley's new collaboration with Puma. The opening drew a great cross-section of downtown heads, artists, and creatives from across the board including OG Chuck Close, Fab Five Freddy, Toure, Lainie Balby, Oscar Sanchez, and Raul (Hood by Air). Wiley's large scale portraits were on display as well as video content showing the backstory for his trip across Africa and interaction with the continent's biggest soccer stars. Check the video below. Rich Medina was on the decks and there was a special performance by Zozo Afrobeat.

To celebrate this summer’s World Cup in South Africa and PUMA’s long standing partnership with African football, 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’s paintings, along with PUMA’s collection of lifestyle apparel, footwear, and accessories that incorporate his graphics — as well as the PUMA Africa Unity Kit — will be on display in NYC for a special exhibition at the Deitch Projects. Of The Same Earth, a film documenting Wiley’s experiences visiting these athletes in their home countries, will be screened throughout the exhibition.

PUMA-sponsored football stars Samuel Eto’o of Cameroon, John Mensah of Ghana and Emmanuel Eboué of Ivory Coast all sat for individual portraits plus a ‘Unity’ portrait with all three players together, symbolizing the united countries of Africa. In the ‘Unity’ portrait, the players are wearing the PUMA Africa Unity Kit, a special kit that is registered as the third kit for all PUMA-sponsored African football teams in 2010.

The exhibition is on a seven-country tour which started in Berlin in January and ends in South Africa in June during the World Cup. The exhibition also stops in Paris, London, Beijing, Milan, and Tokyo.

Deitch Projects
18 Wooster Street
Thursday, February 18th - Saturday, February 20th
12pm to 6pm