Grey Goose celebrated the launch of its Grey Goose Le Melon flavor by partnering with renowned artist Kehinde Wiley to honor one of the greatest filmmakers of his generation. In recognition of the 25th anniversary of his acclaimed film Do the Right Thing, Spike Lee was toasted by Grey Goose and Wiley as part of their initiative to celebrate the “Modern Kings of Culture” through a portrait series. Wiley has created a series of custom portraits honoring selected individuals who have broken ground or influenced culture.
At an exclusive screening event at The Crosby Street Hotel in Lower Manhattan, the Oscar-nominated Lee was immortalized in an original portrait by Wiley as stars came out to show love and support to the acclaimed filmmaker on his special night.
There was also a special screening of the documentary The Making of Do the Right Thing, which showed behind-the-scenes footage featuring the late Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis, Oscar-nominated actors Danny Aiello and John Turturro, as well as Lee, cinematographer Ernest R. Dickerson and more. Attendees such as Aiello, Michael K. Williams, Victor Cruz of the New York Giants and Think Like A Man Too star Michael Ealy all recognized how much the engrossing film impacted culture and the discussion of race relations in America.
After the screening, “Extra” host AJ Calloway moderated an intimate Q&A between Kehinde Wiley and Spike Lee where both men reflected on their careers, how their paths crossed and what role art plays in furthering consciousness. After the portrait was revealed for the very first time, guests flocked to the after-party which featured Grey Goose Le Melon cocktails and a special DJ set by Q-Tip.
“I remember, far before this project, getting a phone call from my gallery saying ‘Spike Lee has shown interest in your work,'” recalled Wiley of his first meeting with Lee. “Two seconds later, the studio phone rings — ‘It’s Spike, I’m downstairs.’ It was a level of engagement with creativity and with people who are trying to come to terms with who we are as artists.”