Yinka Shonibare CBE: A globally celebrated artist on race, class, and constructions of cultural identity

Episode 7,   Oct 19, 2023, 01:40 PM

This episode of Making a Mark explores the printmaking practice of Yinka Shonibare CBE (b. 1962), a globally celebrated artist whose work examines race, class, and constructions of cultural identity.

We meet Shonibare in his busy East London studio, surrounded by his prints and rolls upon rolls of Batik fabric, a symbolic and distinct feature of the artist’s work. Listen in as Shonibare explains why this fabric has become a recurrent motif for everything he wants to say about identity, politics, colonialism, and postcolonialism.

Shonibare discusses how in recent years he has returned to two-dimensional work in the form of printmaking. Find out about the complex way he makes his woodblock prints and about his subject matter, including how the election of Donald Trump informed his first ever print project with Cristea Roberts Gallery and how the imagery of a large-scale print made in response to the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, was born from a rejected commission, deemed too controversial.

We also find out why in his recent prints, Shonibare has chosen to illustrate the radical influence of African artefacts on the work of western modernists, from Picasso, Derain, Modigliani, Matisse to Man Ray and his fellow artists in the Dada and Surrealist movements.

Contributors include gallery director, David Cleaton-Roberts and curator, writer and broadcaster Ekow Eshun. Presented by writer and critic, Charlotte Mullins.

Click here to purchase a book featuring an interview between Yinka Shonibare CBE and Charlotte Mullins.

Making a Mark is a podcast by Cristea Roberts Gallery exploring the relationship between artists and printmaking.⁠

Artworks discussed in the episode can be viewed online via https://cristearoberts.com/podcast/

Photo: Leon Foggitt

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