Shonibare was born in London to Nigerian parents. He studied at Goldsmith's College and still lives and works in London. He came to widespread prominence after his work featured in the 'Sensation' exhibition of Charles Saatchi's collection at the Royal Academy in London in 1999. Shonibare's work is infused with the differences between the cultures of Nigeria and Britain. He works with brightly patterned fabrics associated with Africa, sometimes using them where western, manufactured materials would ordinarily be used. Shonibare was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2004.