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Wile Away the Evening 

Wednesday, Jan 30 2013
If you think you know what an exhibition opening at the Contemporary Jewish Museum looks like, think again. Kehinde Wiley’s “The World Stage: Israel” explores black diaspora and the international phenomenon of urban youth culture, and has all the makings of an art bash: Gourmet bites inspired by the artwork, specialty cocktails, and international performances. For the first time, Ethiopian-Israeli hip-hop artist Kalkidan Mashasha performs in the Bay Area. Mashasha, who has posed for many of Wiley’s portraits, is arriving directly from the Promised Land, and he’s bringing Israeli Freestyle Champion DJ Alarm with him. For a mere $5,000, fancy people can have dinner with Wiley himself, and take a private exhibition tour. Curator Karen Tsujimoto thinks Wiley’s juxtaposition of Jewish history and contemporary Israeli life is what should draw the crowds, so if the pricey party is out of reach, visit during regular hours. Israel is the physical and symbolic intersection of Africa, Europe, and Asia, which complicates our understanding of ethnic diversity in a country smaller than the state of New Jersey. Most of us can’t visit the malls, bars, and sporting venues in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Lod to see this diversity firsthand, so take advantage of Wiley’s exhibition.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Feb. 14. Continues through May 27, 2013

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Alexis Coe

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