Members of the British Empire
The work of the British-born Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE is preoccupied with the decline of empires, and in particular with Horatio Nelson, the figurehead of the British Empire at the height of its power. It was a delicious irony, then, when Shonibare was awarded the title of Member of the British Empire, in 2005, and he’s attached the honorific to his name ever since. Shonibare’s latest exhibition, “Addio del Passato,” which opens today at James Cohan Gallery, in Chelsea, dresses Lord Nelson in African wax prints and situates him in five famous death scenes from classical painting.
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Above: Fake Death Picture (The Suicide—Leonardo Alenza), 2011