Yinka Shonibare

British, 1962 -
Yinka Shonibare’s (b. 1962, British-Nigerian) work explores themes of cultural identity, colonialism, race, and class. Shonibare belongs to a generation of Young British Artists who in 1988 began to exhibit highly publicized and provocative work in London. Using Dutch wax-printed fabrics—produced and sold by Europeans to Indonesia as a native style that subsequently became popular in West Africa—Shonibare creates intricate and elaborate paintings and sculptures that comment on construction of identity and the entangled relationship between Africa and Europe and their respective economic and political histories. For the artist, the material signifies these issues and is integral to the work Untitled, commissioned for the Peter Norton Family Christmas Project.* The eclectic architectural style of the home is emblematic of what Shonibare refers to as a post-colonial hybrid, which he defines as “the idea of having this fusion or hybrid cultural identity and what that produces.”
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