Ndijeka Akunyili Crosby is a 33-year-old Nigerian-born visual artist working in Los Angeles, California. After the completion of her secondary school education at Queens College, Lagos at the age of 16, Ndijeka travelled to the United States of America for further studies. She bagged a Bachelor of Arts from Swarthmore College and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) from Yale University School of Art.
Her works combine eclectic collage, drawing, painting, printmaking, and photo transfers. In 2016, one of her 2012 paintings tagged “Drown” sold for $1.1 million at Sotheby’s. Through her paintings, she exposes the challenges of occupying the cultural terrain between her adopted home in America and Nigeria. She has created a sophisticated visual language that pays homage to the history of Western painting while also referencing African cultural traditions. Njideka depicts deeply personal imagery that transcends the specificity of individual experience and engages in a global dialogue about trenchant social and political issues.
Her ethnic heritage and African experiences informs her art and challenges the myth of a “authentic African.” Her paintings are layered with meanings. While they may have domestic settings of living rooms, families and couples, she also draws inspiration from Nigerian culture for their collage backgrounds.
Achievement and Recognition
Since 2012, Njideka has participated in major group and solo exhibitions in the United States and abroad. Her 2015 solo shows include The Beautyful Ones, at Art + Practice, Los Angeles (2015) and Hammer Projects: Njideka Akunyili Crosby at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015).
In 2014, Akunyili Crosby was the recipient of the ’s James Dicke Contemporary Art Prize. In June 2016, she was awarded Prix Canson, an internationally-recognized prize for art on paper. Akunyili Crosby won the 2015 Next Generation Prize by New Museum, an award for emerging artists. She was also recognized of the top 10 black artists to celebrate in 2016
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