Yinka Shonibare (1962-)
Born in London Shonibare grew up in Lagos, Nigeria. He is most known for creating costumed diorama installations which explore ideas of class, race, and wealth through parody and parallel. He also incorporates the French Revolution into some of his works.
The fabric used in his art also has an interesting history and parallel to his pieces. They are similar to kente cloth (a traditional African cloth.) The cloths design originates in Indonesia, were marketed by the Dutch, and then gained popularity in Africa. The fabric is now dutch-printed and available for purchase in London. Shonibare says: “The fabrics are not really authentically African the way people think. They prove to have a crossbred cultural background quite of their own. And it’s the fallacy of that signification that I like. It’s the way I view culture – it’s an artificial construct.”
Odile and Odette (2005)
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