Work on Paper
Prints with collage on paper
84.0 x 62.0 Size (cm)
33.1 x 24.4 Size (in)Born 1962 in London, UK
Lives and works in London, UK
Yinka Shonibare ironically deconstructs icons of Western power. Dogon-style animal masks from Mali are placed over the faces of historic rulers such as Henry VIII and the Pope (as depicted by Francis Bacon), an act which Shonibare says ‘de-westernizes’ them. The images parody 18thcentury lifestyles celebrating opulence enabled by colonialism and the slave trade; an excess which ultimately led to the demise of the Ancien Régime in France.
Shonibare juxtaposes the intricate patterns of Western aristocracy with those of African textiles to explore power relations and the complex layers of 21st-century hybrid identities. These are further highlighted through the collage of batik textiles, his signature material.
Yinka Shonibare studied Fine Art at Byam Shaw School of Art (Central Saint Martins) and at Goldsmiths College. His work explores issues of race and class through the media of painting, sculpture, photography, and film.