Shonibare MBE, Yinka
Born 1962 in London, United Kingdom
Lives and works in London, United Kingdom
British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE’s practice investigates the ways in which the world is shaped by the aftershocks of colonialism. Shonibare employs bright batik patterns in many of his works, which are often stereotyped as distinctly African. He however complicates this history by using the batik patterns as a signifier for the global interconnectedness of the post-colonial era. Working in painting, sculpture, photography, film and installation, Shonibare’s work examines race, class and the construction of cultural identity through a sharp political commentary of the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe and their respective economic and political histories. Shonibare uses wry citations of Western art history and literature to question the validity of contemporary cultural and national identities. Major public commissions include: Wind Sculpture (SG) I, Public Art Fund, New York (2018); Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, Fourth Plinth, Trafalgar Square, London (2010) and The American Library, FRONT International, Cleveland (2018).
Yinka Shonibare, Planets in My Head (Trumpet Girl), 2018, Fibreglass mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, trumpet, globe, and steel baseplate, 160 x 60 x 59 cm. Courtesy James Cohan