Inspired by colonisation, post-colonisation, and globalisation. A member of “The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire”, and nominee to the Turner prize of 2004.
Yinka Shonibare’s fashion designs are fascinating, in all honestly. How he combines two contrasting cultures to create an original art piece. Being able to comprehend and acknowledging that what this man has designed is in fact, white western world clothing with the branded, cultural, colourful African materials is quite easy for me to grasp, whilst I wonder how other viewers will take it. Having grown up in Nigeria for most of his life, he had obviously took time to observe the people around him, got inspired. He’s looked at the history of Africa, the colonization of South Africa, how his ancestors had to cope.
Looking more closely into his works, his drawings, paintings, and films; his pieces, which includes the fabulous clothing, it’s a self-expression. Shonibare is speaking about on who he is as a person, telling his viewers that he is proud to be a black Nigerian man with an English upbringing. He was born in England, went to live in Nigeria and came back to be educated here. It’s a contrast to other black artists, who contemplate upon who they are, and what they are, using their experienced talent to explore what makes them different.
I see influence from the Dada movement, Pop Art, collages of his family culture and using Western art movements to emphasise it.
Artwork from Yinka Shonibare’s site: (http://www.yinkashonibarembe.com/drawing.html)