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The 2009 Out 100: Kehinde Wiley & Bebe Zahara Benet

Photo: Jason Bell

Today we bring you two honorees from the 2009 "School Days" Out 100 -- this year's look at the 100 gay, lesbian, and trans people who have impacted gay and mainstream culture in the past 12 months -- Kehinde Wiley and Bebe Zahara Benet.

Since finishing an MFA at Yale in 2001, the New York-based artist Wiley (above, left) has shot to meteoric critical and commercial success, fusing highbrow art and hip-hop culture by recreating classic late-Renaissance portraits with young men plucked from city streets. In September, his show "Black Light" debuted at Deitch Projects, following the publication of a monograph of the same name.

Nea Marshall Kudi's drag persona, Bebe Zahara Benet (above, right) was born when, while working a Parisian runway, the male model was asked to fill in for female models who'd gone MIA. Raised in the West African Republic of Cameroon, Marshall took the pole position on RuPaul's Drag Race in March and is preparing to release his first EP.

We'll continue to roll out more honorees from the 2009 Out 100 in the coming days and in mid-November the full portfolio, shot by renowned photographer Jason Bell, will be available in stores and online.

Previously > The 2009 Out 100: Kelly McGillis

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