British, born 1962, lives in London
Yinka Shonibare was born in London and grew up in Nigeria, where his family moved when he was four years old. He returned to London at the age of 17 to study at Goldsmith’s College, University of London. Shonibare’s interest in the longlasting and pervasive effects of colonialization is evinced in the sculptural tableaux for which he has become known. Nuclear Family, for example, is an arrangement of headless figures clothed in finely detailed Victorian fashions, made not from historically-accurate fabrics, but from African kinte cloth. The kinte cloth, too, is not what it seems; through the complex web of colonial-era trade, the wax-printed fabric was actually manufactured in Holland and only later shipped to West Africa, where it was adopted and has now become synonymous with traditional African textiles. Shonibare’s work was the subject of a major retrospective at the Studio Museum in Harlem in 2002, and other one-person shows include those organized by the Tate Britain in London (2001), The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh (2001), the Victoria and Albert Museum in London (2000), and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto (1997).