Yinka Shonibare Sets New World Record at Red Auction

Yinka Shonibare Sets New World Record at Red Auction

The Red Auction recently conducted by Sotheby’s saw a new world record for leading contemporary Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare MBE, for his Red Lantern Kid. The work sold for $325,000, though it was previously estimated between $100,000 – 150,000. The auction achieved a total sum of $10.5 million including funds by raised by The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

“Yinka’s installations, paintings and photographic projects together describe the confounding mythologies of Imperial and Post-Imperial Britain. He delightfully interweaves class, race, sexuality and cultural identity with art history and humour.” And he does much more. Adding film, sculpture and performance to the sweep of his media, his work is famous for its exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism within a contemporary global context. With great exuberance and wry wit, it continually examines cultural identity with sharp social commentary. More specifically, it holds a mirror up to the tangled web of the interrelationship between Europe and Africa, with all its economic and political implications – slavery and oil for starters.

Curated by leading architects Theaster Gates and Sir David Adjaye, alongside musician and activist, Bono, the (RED) Auction was established to support the fight against AIDS. Centred on the theme of light and the colour red, the collection of contemporary art and design was exhibited and auctioned during Art Basel and Design Miami in Miami Beach. The proceeds go to the United Nations Foundation to support HIV/AIDS relief programs in Africa conducted by The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.


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