Thursday, 16 February 2012

ingenious 'sculptailor'

'How to Blow Up Two Heads at Once', © 2006, Yinka Shonibare, MBE
Yinka Shonibare, MBE is a well-known British artist (MBE
stands for 'Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British
Empire', a title he added to his professional name even if
 
it sounds a bit lofty) that recently made waves with 
his cannot-go-unnoticed ”object of wonder” 
'Nelson's Ship in a Bottle' in Trafalgar Square.

'Gay Victorians', © 1999, Yinka Shonibare, MBE
'Reverend on Ice', © 2005, Yinka Shonibare, MBE
Yinka was born in London and raised in Lagos, Nigeria's
chief city, returning to Britain at the age of sixteen to 
study Fine Art at Byam Shaw College of Art and later on 
at Goldsmiths but sadly contracted a long term physical
disability that although forbiding him to carry out the
work himself, didn't deprive him of his unique vision.

'Air', © 2010, Yinka Shonibare, MBE
'Food Faerie', © 2009, Yinka Shonibare, MBE
The all-around artist, resourcefully at ease with sculpture,
painting, photography and installation art, counts on a team
of assistants to explore the interrelationship between Africa
and the Western world skillfully commenting on cultural 
history, the legacy of colonialism and the broader 
concept of identity construction.

'Leisure Lady with Pugs', © 2001, Yinka Shonibare, MBE
He constantly challenges the concept of cultural authenticity
by blurring the boundaries of stereotypical Western ideas
about fine arts and traditional arts but I confess I'm nuts
about his jaw-dropping colorful sculptures made of lavish
fabrics and textiles that at a glance reminded me the ones
assembled with worn out clothing by Nick Cave 
yet with a different conceptual twist.

'Five Undergarments and Much More', © 1995, Yinka Shonibare, MBE
'Earth', © 2009 Yinka Shonibare, MBE
 Yinka covers headless mannequins and sculptures with his
African-looking, vivid prints and patterns (actually Dutch
wax-printed cottons the artist personally buys from London's 

 Brixton market) earnestly pointing out that they're not 
authentically African and that misconception is what he really 
likes inasmuch he looks at culture like an artificial construct. 
The artist's latest exhibition surprisingly bearing the Italian 
title ”Addio del Passato” is currently running in New York's 
James Cohan Gallery while many selected works, mostly 
paintings, are on display in the Gallery's Shanghai offshoot.
 
A 'sculptailor' deserving ginormous fame & fortune.

'Addio del Passato' current exhibition at James Cohan Gallery
 > all artworks & images © Yinka Shonibare, MBE
compiled from the artist's and James Cohan Gallery's websites <


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