"You know, art can be something which can really disempower people, or it can be a vehicle which can empower people."
Parody and satire are powerful tools for communicating ideas through works of art. Yinka Shonibare uses parody in his work to both recognize and poke fun at particular social issues. In his Art in the Twenty-First Century segment, the artist explains how some of his work can be seen as a parody of class. View Shonibare's segment, and reflect on the ways in which the artist uses humor to simultaneously explore and critique political or cultural events.
Discuss and define the words parody and mimicry. How do these terms relate to humor and satire? Discuss examples of parody and mimicry found in art history or contemporary culture. Why and how are they used in art?
Describe the figures in Shonibare's work, including their construction and clothing. Why did Shonibare present them this way? Describe the identities of the figures.
Compare and contrast Shonibare's Diary of a Victorian Dandy with Hogarth's The Rake's Progress. How does each artist use parody, humor, and satire?
Shonibare talks about the difficulty of living in his own body. Which of his works address this difficulty, and how do they do it?
Shonibare says that he would like to have the trappings of wealth, even though he criticizes it. Consider the genre of satire, and create a work of art that critiques something you desire.