Yinka Shonibare, Photographer

yinka-shonibare-photographer“In his Victorian house in the East End here Yinka Shonibare, the British-Nigerian conceptual artist, perched on an exercise ball at the wooden table in his book-crammed study, sipping peppermint tea and examining a shipment of faux oysters on the half shell.
A stationary hand cycle sat beside him, an electric wheelchair across from him. One of Bob and Roberta Smith’s slogan paintings, ‘Duchamp stinks like a homeless person,’ hung above him, and a tuna on toast prepared by his housekeeper was sandwiched between a vase of yellow tulips and a stack of Dante volumes: Inferno, Purgatorio and Paradiso. . .
On that gray May day in the East End, Mr. Shonibare was trying to decompress after directing a weeklong photo shoot that involved 25 live snakes, 14 nude models, 6 pigs and 2 lamb’s heads. Inspired by Dante, Arthur Miller, Gustav Dore’ and the financial crisis, the shoot was a work in progress, ‘Willy Loman: The Rise and Fall,’ which seeks to depict what happens after the death of the salesman. (Hint: It’s hellish.)” [. . .]    –Deborah Sontag, The New York Times, June 17, 2009

The Gluttony Cake

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Found on Flickr

Contributed by Dien Ho

“Inferno & Paradiso” a photojournalistic exhibit in South Africa (2001)

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“. . .World renowned artist/photographer Alfredo Jaar curated this show which is presented as a collaboration between the SANG, the BildMuseet in Umea, Sweden, and Riksutstallningar, the Swedish Travelling Exhibitions Organisation. His curatorial method was this: ‘I invited 18 photojournalists from around the world to contribute two images to the exhibition (inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy). For ‘Inferno’ I asked them to select the single image that was the most difficult to produce, the one that caused the most pain and anguish. And for ‘Paradiso’, the most joyful one, the one that has given them the most happiness in the world.’ ”
–Sue Williamson, Art Throb

Contributed by Charlie Russell (Bowdoin, ’08)