This dog tag necklace by Kehinde Wiley is adapted from his painting Leviathan Zodiac (The Worldstage: Israel), 2011.
Wiley is known for vibrant, large-scale paintings of young urban men, rendered in the self-confident, empowered poses typical of classical European portait painting. The World Stage: Israel series is based on photographs the artist took of men of diverse religions and ethnicities living in Israel. Wiley scouted his subjects in discos, malls, bars and sporting venues in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Lod. The men in this series - Ethiopian and native-born Jews and Arab Israelis - express a modern sensibility that supersedes religious and ethnic affiliations. Distinctively, he places them against vivid, ornate backgrounds inpsired by Jewish papercuts, an intricate from of folk and ceremonial art.
The image on this necklace, Leviathan Zodiac, is based on the ceremonial papercut that inspired its background. Kehinde met the model in a Tel Aviv night club and posed him in a heroic stance that recalls a statue of a Roman emporer.
Aluminum with ball chain
Pendant: 1-1/8"w x 2"h, Chain: 24" long