Yinka Shonibare MBE

Born in 1962 - United Kingdom


Yinka Shonibare MBE is an artist born in London in 1962. He moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of 3 and finally returned to London to study Fine Arts, first at the Byam Shaw College of Art (now called the Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design) and then at the Goldsmiths College, where he graduate at the same time that the generation of the famous " Young British Artists". He currently lives and works in East London.

His artistic research focuses on subjects such as colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalization. Shonibare’s work explores these issues, alongside those of race and social classes, through painting, sculpture, photography and more recently film and performance, as well as the construction of identity and the complex relationship between Africa and Europe in their economical and political stories.

Yinka Shonibare dreams of a contemporary collective identity, combining Western art history and literature.

His work was chosen by Okwui Enwesor to be presented during the Documenta 10 in 2002 and he was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2004. He received the prestigious decoration of "member of the most excellent order of the British Empire", and in 2013 he was elected member of the Royal Academy of Arts. His work has been exhibited as well in numerous internationally renowned events and places such as at the Venise Biennale and at the Brooklyn Museum of New York.

His first public art commission was commanded for the famous Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square (London) in 2010.

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Yinka Shonibare MBE has exhibited internationally at leading museums worldwide. Recent solo shows have included ‘POP!’ at Stephen Friedman Gallery, London (2013), ‘FABRICA-ATION’ at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (2013), and ‘MAGIC LADDERS’, The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia (2014).

In 2015, the artist will be the object of four solo exhibitions; 'The William Morris Family Album' a commission at the William Morris Gallery, London; 'Pieces de Resistance' at the DHC/ART Foundation in Montreal, Canada; 'Rage of the Ballet Gods' at the James Cohan Gallery, New York, US; and 'Colonial Arrangements' at the Morris-Jumel Mansion, New York, US.

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