Caught between two worlds, artist Yinka Shonibare was born in the United Kingdom to Nigerian parents, who returned to Nigeria when he was three. At 17, he moved to London and, in art school, he began to create works that addressed his bicultural heritage and the politics of living in a colonized culture. The Brooklyn Museum presents the first major survey of his work in Yinka Shonibare, MBE (Member of the British Empire). Though you’ll see everything from bold, rich paintings to atmospheric black-and-white photographs, Shonibare is probably best known for dressing headless mannequins of Victorian-era aristocrats in Dutch wax fabric, a bright, colorfully patterned material that is representative of African culture as well as colonial influence (the fabric was introduced to West Africa by British manufacturers). The exhibit will also include a site-specific installation titled Mother and Father Worked Hard So I Can Play, which will be on display in several of the museum’s period rooms.
June 26-Sept. 20, 2009