Friday, September 11, 2009

The art of Yinka Sonibare

Yinka Shonibare has quickly become my absolute favourite contemporary artist. Born in London to Nigerian parents, his work explores issues of race and class through re-conceptualization of famous works of art in various mediums. I recently visited one of his traveling exhibitions in NYC, and was blown away. Shonibare purchased Dutch wax-printed cotton in London (considered by many traditional "African" fabrics) and uses it to compose elaborate colonial era dress. The mannequins donning the outfits are arranged so as to call to mind famed classical paintings and themes. The result is the blending of cultural traditions in a way that challenges historic cultural classifications.

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