PRESS RELEASE: The Multiple Store launches KALEIDOSCOPE by Yinka Shonibare MBE

New limited edition multiple by

Yinka Shonibare MBE

KALEIDOSCOPE, 2014. Edition: 45

Commissioned by The Multiple Store

Collectors Preview: 2 October 2014 at artist’s studio

Launch: MULTIPLIED Contemporary Art in Editions Fair (at Christie’s South Kensington): 17 October (Fair: 17-21 October)

Yinka Shonibare in conversation with Iwona Blazwick, Director of The Whitechapel Gallery: Friday 17 October, 4.30pm

About the edition

KALEIDOSCOPE is a new sculptural edition by Yinka Shonibare MBE that playfully explores gender stereotypes and power relations.

It is a kaleidoscope in the shape of a phallus, with the body beautifully decorated in the Dutch wax batik patterns the artist is known for, and the head made of highly polished brass.

Through the opening at the head of the phallus a distorted image of Sandro Botticelli’s ‘Birth of Venus‘ can be seen. Botticelli’s original image depicted the birth of Venus, the goddess of the sea, standing on a shell; as usual in paintings of this period, the female ideal was depicted as the object of mythology and desire. Subverting this familiar image, Shonibare has replaced the female nude by a well-endowed photographed naked male.

Kaleidoscope performs an act of reverse objectification, as the erect phallus and the male nude take the place historically occupied by the female body and therefore take it beyond the familiar realm of the male gaze.

This object can also be seen as a subversive take on 19th century Victoriana, and specifically the ‘peep show’ images of women viewed through devices such as a kaleidoscope.

As with Yinka Shonibare’s celebrated work on the Fourth Plinth, ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’, ‘Kaleidoscope’  reclaims an object from a familiar British tradition and subverts it through the bold use of batik patterns and the transformation of the shape into that of a phallus.

Yinka Shonibare MBE

Over the past decade, Shonibare has become widely known for his exploration of colonialism and post-colonialism within the contemporary context of globalisation. Shonibare’s work explores these issues, alongside those of race and class, through the media of painting, sculpture, photography and, more recently, film and performance. Using this wide range of media, Shonibare examines in particular the construction of identity and the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe, and their respective economic and political histories. Mixing Western art history and literature, he asks what constitutes our collective contemporary identity today. Having described himself as a ‘post-colonial hybrid’, Shonibare’s work questions the meaning of cultural and national definitions.

Yinka Shonibare was born in London and moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three. He returned to London to study Fine Art, first at Byam Shaw College of Art (now Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design) and then at Goldsmiths College, where he received his MFA, graduating as part of the ‘Young British Artists’ generation. He was awarded an MBE in 2005.

In 2010, the artist’s sculpture ‘Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle’ was selected for the prestigious Fourth Plinth commission series in Trafalgar Square, and is now on permanent display at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich.

In 2013, a major solo exhibition was held at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. In 2014, the artist’s work was the subject of the first contemporary art exhibition at The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, USA (‘Magic Ladders’).

The artist is represented in the UK by Stephen Friedman Gallery


For more information, images and a detailed biography, please contact:

Chloe Grimshaw
Email: or Telephone: 07866 251 115

Paul Franklyn
Email: or Telephone: 07769 690 227


The Multiple Store is the only UK company specialising in commissioning editions of sculptural and other works in 3D.

Founded as a not-for-profit organisation in 1998, we work with leading contemporary artists including Turner Prize nominees Fiona Banner, Anya Gallaccio, Langlands & Bell, Cornelia Parker, David Shrigley and Alison Wilding. Other commissioned artists include Keith Coventry, Peter Liversidge, and Simon Periton.

The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Yale Center for British Art; the British Council, the Arts Council of England, the British Museum and the Victoria & Albert Museum are among the many international collections that have purchased our editions.

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