Tagged: yinka shonibare

Dedicated Follower of Fashion: Yinka Shonibare MBE at the Brooklyn Museum.


The Swing (After Fragonard), 2001. (Photos by C-M.)

There is such a thing as too much of a good thing and Yinka Shonibare’s solo show at the Brooklyn Museum is it. Don’t get me wrong. His sculptures are a wonder to look at, skillfully-crafted ensembles that meld African-style Dutch wax fabrics with 18th century and Victorian fashion — all arranged in dramatic dioramas. This is paired with an all-important subtext: the pieces insert representations of African-ness into traditional European art, reminding us that the African experience has long been a part of Western culture, even if it has been barely depicted on canvas. The effect is lush and beautiful and tragic. But, as enjoyable as it the show is to look at (boy, would I looove to rock one of them dresses), after a while, the repetitive imagery, relentlessly bright colors and hyper-hedonistic settings started  to make me feel as if I’d eaten too much candy. Dizzy, disoriented, a little sick to my stomach. But, perhaps, that was the point.

On a side note: The Met’s Costume Institute might do well to study this show. It was wonderfully and elegantly installed — with some pieces incorporated into the museum’s period rooms. Who ever curated the Met’s sloppy cheese-fest otherwise known as Model as Muse (that ’60s fashion room with the lava lamp effects looked as if it was channeling the Woodstock museum) should get over to Brooklyn, stat! And start taking notes…

Yinka Shonibare MBE is at the Brooklyn Museum through Sept. 20.

Looking Around has a very interesting interview with the artist in one and two parts.

Click on images to supersize. Continue reading

Calendar. 06.23.09.


Lady Walking a Tightrope, by Yinka Shonibare, at the Newark Museum. (Photo by C-M.)

  • In NYC: Yinka Shonibare at the Brooklyn Museum, opens Friday. Read the NYT story here.
  • In NYC: A screening of Hori Smoku Sailor Jerry, a film about the life of tattoo master Norman Collins, at Tribeca Cinemas, this Wednesday at 7 p.m.
  • In NYC: Ben Frost, Plague Landscapes, at Brooklynite Gallery in Bed-Stuy, through July 18.
  • In NYC: RE/PAINT RE/BUILD, a fundraiser for the North Brooklyn Public Art Coalition, this Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Greenpoint.
  • In S.F.: Giant Robot: 15 Years at GRSF, through July 15.
  • In London: Richard Long, Heaven and Earth, at Tate Britain through Sept. 6.
  • In London: Radical Nature at the Barbican, through Oct. 18.
  • In London: In A Word, Ross Jones and various artists, at Sumarria Lunn, through July 5.
  • In Berlin: Source Codes, with Ed Ruscha, Bruce Conner, Lucas Samaras and others, at Sprüth Magers, opens Thursday.