The New York Times spends a little time with Yinka Shonibare leading up to his new show at the Brooklyn Museum:
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 Doré 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.)
At the same time Mr. Shonibare was preparing for a trip to Jerusalem, where he is a guest curator at the Israel Museum. He was granting an hours-long interview, interrupted periodically by his plumber — “Do you happen to know where the stopcock is, mate?” — and he was evaluating the oysters for inclusion alongside a peacock with gilded beak in a 19th-century dinner party installation at the Newark Museum.
Headless Bodies from a Bottomless Imagination (New York Times)
“I’m juggling a few things, yeah,” said Mr. Shonibare, who in contrast to his bold and lavish work, is disarmingly gentle and restrained in person.
Because of a condition that left him partially paralyzed, Mr. Shonibare’s head lists to the right, as if being tugged there by a few of his jaunty dreadlocks. This often makes it look as if he were cocking his head to see things more clearly.