Obama’s portrait painter is making a bet on African artists with a Dakar residency program

Still riding the buzz from his 2018 portrait of former president Barack Obama, Kehinde Wiley is taking the next step in his career with the launch of an artist residency program in Dakar, Senegal he hopes will foster a positive relationship between Africa and the West.

The program, called Black Rock Senegal, seeks to facilitate cross-cultural collaboration; artists, filmmakers and writers from around the world will have the opportunity to travel the country, immerse themselves in Senegalese culture and learn from local artisans.

“We receive these sort of toxic images of war and disaster and malady that it’s oftentimes difficult to see it on a very personal level,” he said.

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