Yinka Shonibare

From the dandy with black skin to astronauts and aliens dressed in typical African colors and materials, Yinka Shonibare addresses issues of cultural identity in his artistic research with irony. The Nigerian-British artist seeks provocative and destabilizing elements to stimulate new reflections on our typical perspectives of the world. His often spectacular installations quote famous European paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries, with mannequins dressed in typically western fashions sewn from batik, a fabric considered typically African, but which actually has a complex origin involving Dutch colonialism. The result is an excellent metaphor for addressing the collision of cultures. In other works, Shonibare places himself at the center of photographic images dressed as Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray. For Shonibare, the dandy is a leitmotiv: the person who states his individuality by challenging well-to-do society through his appearance. This publication is the first substantial book on Shonibare’s work. Besides illustrating his major works from 1994 until now, the book features a number of in-depth essays on important aspects of his work that are always touched upon but never fleshed out, including the relevance of recent art history, the trade in Dutch Wax textiles, the history of the dandy, the sexuality and leisure of the aristocracy in Victorian times, and the rise of modernism in Nigeria. Additionally, Gracia Lebbink’s thoughtful, playful book designed employs different colors of paper and binds the book in fabrics similar to those that Shonibare uses in his work.

Text: Guldemond Jaap , McRobbie Angela et al. cm 21×26,5 ; pp. 160; COL and BW; paperback. Publisher: NAI Uitgevers, Rotterdam, 2004.

ISBN: 9789056623678| 9056623672

Product Description

From the dandy with black skin to astronauts and aliens dressed in typical African colors and materials, Yinka Shonibare addresses issues of cultural identity in his artistic research with irony. The Nigerian-British artist seeks provocative and destabilizing elements to stimulate new reflections on our typical perspectives of the world. His often spectacular installations quote famous European paintings of the 18th and 19th centuries, with mannequins dressed in typically western fashions sewn from batik, a fabric considered typically African, but which actually has a complex origin involving Dutch colonialism. The result is an excellent metaphor for addressing the collision of cultures. In other works, Shonibare places himself at the center of photographic images dressed as Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray. For Shonibare, the dandy is a leitmotiv: the person who states his individuality by challenging well-to-do society through his appearance. This publication is the first substantial book on Shonibare’s work. Besides illustrating his major works from 1994 until now, the book features a number of in-depth essays on important aspects of his work that are always touched upon but never fleshed out, including the relevance of recent art history, the trade in Dutch Wax textiles, the history of the dandy, the sexuality and leisure of the aristocracy in Victorian times, and the rise of modernism in Nigeria. Additionally, Gracia Lebbink’s thoughtful, playful book designed employs different colors of paper and binds the book in fabrics similar to those that Shonibare uses in his work.

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