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  • Provenance

    James Cohan Gallery, New York

  • Exhibited


    New York, James Cohan Gallery, Yinka Shonibare: Mobility, October 2005; London, Institute  of Contemporary Arts & the South London Gallery, Around the World in Eighty Days, May - July 2006

  • Catalogue Essay

    ‘In my work, it is not fundamentally about the representation of politics, but the politics of representation.’ (Shonibare, quoted in “Absolute Arts, Yinka Shonibare: Entertaining, Seducing, Provoking”, in Art News, April 2004).
    Although Yinka Shonibare was born in London, his family moved to Nigeria just five years after the country declared their independence from the United Kingdom. During the twenty years that he spent living in the country which was desperately trying to establish a regional identity, Shonibare experienced civil wars, ethnic massacres and various coups which greatly affected both his personal and artistic sensibilities. Upon returning to London, Shonibare enrolled at the Byam Shaw School of Art where he put to use artistically his experiences in the post-colonial disastrous state. Using a visual language charged with beauty, humor and clarity, Shonibare, through his sculptures and photographs, invites us to scrutinize the manners in which society creates and shapes our personal as well as global and regional histories and thus affecting our own identities. While his photographic series such as Diary of a Victorian Dandy, 1998 and Un Ballo in Maschera, 2004 have received a tremendous amount of critical acclaim and success, it is perhaps his sculptures that have become the most iconic and celebrated. In these works Shonibare uses incredibly colorful Batik textiles which are often mis-identified as being African, but are in fax Dutch in origin. His use of these fabrics comments on the common fallacy of cultural authenticity that the artists perceives through the first-rate tailoring, suggestive and often humorous poses and of course the supposed ethnicity. All of Shonibare’s artistic genius, vision, humor and poignancy come to fruition in his Man on Unicycle.

NIGERIA/UNITED KINGDOM

62

Man On Unicycle

2005
Unicycle, life-size mannequin, dutch wax printed cotton textile and leather shoes.
91 1/2 x 62 x 18 in. (232.4 x 157.5 x 45.7 cm).

Estimate
$80,000 - 120,000 

Sold for $108,100

AFRICA Theme Sale

15 May 2010
New York