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YINKA SHONIBARE MBE

Yinka Shonibare MBE, Wind Sculpture (SG) I (detail), 2018, acrylic on fiberglass resin cast, 22' 11 1/2“ × 8' 10 1/4” × 5' 6 7/8" Photo: Jonathan Bassett.

IN A 2005 INTERVIEW, British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE reflected on the questions around the fluid nature of identity—racial, national, cultural—that dominate his practice. “What I do is create a kind of mongrel,” he said. “In reality most people’s cultures have evolved out of this mongrelization, but people don’t acknowledge that.” The word may initially seem an inapt one for Shonibare’s sumptuous, baroquely elegant sculptures, videos, and installations, but it does conjure the fraught conditions of postcolonial identity, increasingly defined by discourses of globalization, that have long been the primary focus of his slyly provocative work. Shonibare’s interest in hybridity is in fact written into his very name: After being decorated as a “Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire” in 2005, the artist—who was born in London, grew up in

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