How has Yinka Shonibare's "The Swing" transformed "Happy Accidents of the Swing" (1767) by Fragonard?
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Fragonod's work is a masterpiece of the Rococo period. The piece depicts a well-dressed young woman on a swing, which is being pushed her aging husband. In the bushes, almost out of sight, the woman's young lover crouches. Deliberately ironic, Fragonod has the woman wearing a shepherdess's hat, a symbol of virtue and purity.
Yinka Shonibare is a Nigerian artist who, since the 1990s, has been re-creating masterpieces in three dimensions, a new sort of tableau vivant. In Shonibare's rendering, a young, well-dressed woman is also being pushed by an elderly priest, but she is a headless mannequin (representative of the beheadings of aristocracy of the French Revolution.) The other materials Shonibare uses in the composition include wax, cotton, and artificial foliage.
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