Kehinde Wiley (and His Infinity Pool) Are Ready to Spoil Artists

Kehinde Wiley
Designed by the Senegalese architect Abib Djenne, Black Rock will welcome artists, filmmakers and writers from around the world.

The art star Kehinde Wiley is standing in the middle of his spacious bedroom with mint green walls looking like a little kid who can’t wait to blurt out the surprise he’s been keeping secret. Everything in his new Black Rock studio and artists’ residence in Dakar is fabulous, of course.

The 20-foot wooden entry door, the floor-to-ceiling windows, the infinity pool, the sauna, the bath robes and alarm clocks embossed with the Black Rock golden insignia, the lush garden in a region tucked under the Sahara. Mr. Wiley opens the door to his bathroom. “It’s as big as a New York apartment,” he said.

It is. But what he’s really excited to show off — “the star of the show” — is the shower. It is lined with licorice-colored rocks culled from the beach, with one entire wind-whipped side, from the waist up, open to the pounding waves below.

It’s part of the “reckless abandon” vibe, as he calls it, the meeting of inside and outside here. The Black Rock experience. “An artist can come here and have an experience that is at once about getting work done and about rigor,” he said.

“But I think it’s also about being able to just spoil the artist and make them feel like they’re respected as thinkers and as part of the culture.” The dining room at Kehinde Wiley

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