Before Yinka Shonbare MBE’s major commission at Art14, March this year (pictured), a survey of his work was released in the form of a huge, hardback book. The publishers, Prestel published their first book on Yonibare in 2004 and there have been literally, masses of books dedicated to his work since the 90s. This “Yinka Shonibare MBE – Revised and Expanded Edition“, is full of not just the expected visual delights, from his Turner Prize nominated work, the 4th Plinth installation and major solo shows, in superb quality print, but provides insightful essays that are the fruits of long term relationships with this artist, whose career has spanned more than two decades on the international arts scene during a time when race and the history of UK’s relation to past colonoies, was particularly under examination, the result of which was a massive shift in attitudes from the 80s through to the 00s. Writers Anthony Downey, Rachel Kent and Robert Hobbs all bring their own thoughts to the table, but what has Shonibare got to say about looking back, taking stock and looking ahead? We visit his London studio to meet him.
Born in 1962 in London, England, Shonibare grew up in Lagos, Nigeria, and then studied at Byam Shaw School of Art, London (1984–89) and got an MA from Goldsmiths College, London University (1991). Known for using batik in costumed dioramas that explore race and colonialism, Yinka Shonibare MBE also employs painting, sculpture, photography, and film in work that disrupts and challenges our notions of cultural identity.
Now at Blain|Southern with Making Eden, the first solo gallery exhibition in Berlin by Yonibare, and at Pippy Houldsworth Gallery with a new commission for The Box, Shonibare is also at Third Line Gallery, Dubai, UAE as part of Ship to Shore: Art and the Lure of the Sea | SeaCity Museum, Southampton, UK until May 4, 2014.
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