“The main thing is just to provoke people into a feeling that there’s more to get out of the world they occupy. That what they considered a concrete thought can stretch, change, repeat something else."—Gavin Turk
“When Tracey Emin first exhibited “My Bed” at Tate Britain back in 1999, the work was met with a mixture of high praise and disgust, depending on who you were. As they say, good art polarises, and after ‘99 Emin never looked back, cementing her position as one of Britain’s most celebrated artists, a Turner Prize nominee and postergirl for the YBAs. Yesterday, “My Bed” returned to Tate Britain for the first time in 15 years.”
Yinka Shonibare, Ballet God (Poseidon, Zeus and Apollo), 2015, fibreglass mannequins, Dutch wax printed cotton textiles, mixed media on steel bases, various dimensions, exhibited at the James Cohan Gallery, New York. Source
It’s been a while since I’ve checked out the recent work of Yinka Shonibare, my favourite YBA. These mannequins fuse the dress and pose of a traditional ballerina with accessories related to a specific Greek god: the trident for Poseidon, a lightning bolt for Zeus, and the lyre for Apollo. Along with these items, the figures also carry weapons - a gun, knife and sword respectively - to indicate the violent nature behind the inspiration for this series: environmental disasters and the survival of the human race. The representation of a masculine mythological figure as a feminine dancer directly relates to a destructive kind of beauty. Have a read of this piece on the James Cohan Gallery website, which delves deeper into the story behind this series displayed in the exhibition ‘Rage of the Ballet Gods’ from last year.