Fake Death Picture (The Suicide - Leonardo Alenza)

About Yinka Shonibare MBE

Drawing from his own experience growing up in the U.K. and Nigeria, Yinka Shonibare investigates political and social histories related to post-colonialism and globalization, reconfiguring iconic imagery from the Western art-historical canon with a playful and ironic touch. Working in sculpture, film, photography, and painting, Shonibare is best known for his tableaux of characters dressed in spectacular period costumes made from batik (an Indonesian-designed fabric that is produced in the Netherlands but has become popularly assimilated in West Africa). In Odile and Odette (2005) a film made in collaboration with London’s Royal Opera, Shonibare re-imagines a classical episode from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake as a complex and subtle interplay between two dancers of different races. Mirroring each other’s expressions on either side of an ornate Baroque frame, Shonibare suggests that their movements are at once estranged and united.

British-Nigerian, b. 1962, London, United Kingdom, based in Lagos, Nigeria

Exhibition Highlights On Artsy

2016
Yinka Shonibare MBE ...and the wall fell away, Stephen Friedman Gallery, London
2015
Summer Exhibition 2015, Royal Academy of Arts, London
2014
Yinka Shonibare MBE, Brand New Gallery, Milan