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Artist of the Day | Yinka Shonibare MBE

Yinka Shonibare MBE  - CRASH WILLY

Yinka Shonibare MBE



mannequin, Dutch wax printed cotton textile, leather, fibreglass and metal

132 x 198 x 260 cm


Yinka Shonibare MBE is a British-Nigerian contemporary artist known for his sculptural installations that explore issues of Post-colonialism. Utilizing Dutch wax-printed fabrics in his work, Shonibare produces dresses, grounds for paintings, and elaborate sculptures, as see in his The Swing (after Fragonard)(2001), a take on Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s famed Rococo painting. For the artist the material signifies issues of commerce, race, and politics, as it was produced by Europeans to be sold in Indonesia as a native style and subsequently became popular in West African countries. “My work addresses the idea of having this fusion or hybrid cultural identity and what that produces,” he explained. “People always want to categorize things: I’m much more interested in this idea of a hybrid.” Born on February 10, 1962 in London, United Kingdom, he grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, but returned to England throughout his childhood. At 17, Shonibare fell ill with transverse myelitis, an inflammation of the spinal cord that left him paralyzed in half his body. Despite this disability, the artist attended Byam Shaw College of Art in London and later received his MFA from Goldsmiths in 1991. In 2005, he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire, or MBE, a moniker he continues to officially attach to his name. Shonibare continues to live and work in London, United Kingdom. Today, his works are held in the collections of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, among others.

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