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Njideka Akunyili Crosby

Artist 210

Njideka Akunyili Crosby Cultural Collusion Mixed Media

Njideka Akunyili Crosby (born 1983) is a Nigerian-born visual artist working in Los Angeles, California. Akunyili Crosby's art negotiates the cultural terrain between her adopted home in America and her native Nigeria, creating collage and photo transfer-based paintings that expose the challenges of occupying these two worlds.

Whilst studying Akunyili Crosby was exposed to Nigerian, British, and American popular culture which all contributed to the pop-culture elements in her work . Akunyili Crosby draws on her experience as a Nigerian woman living in America in her work. This concept of integrating African intimacy with western painting, was introduced to her through the work of Kerry James Marshall.

She incorporates photo transfers and fabrics to bring in different aspects such as hair styles, fashions, architecture, and furnishings from the two cultures She is influenced by writer Chinua Achebe whose focus on changing the English language to fit his culture is interpreted through Akunyili Crosby's artwork. She uses photos she has taken herself in Nigeria along with family photos and pages from popular Nigerian magazines. The photos "are layers in her work by collage and acetone-transfer prints, creating a fabric of images throughout her paintings".

Her primary mediums include collage, photo transfer, acrylic paint, charcoal, fabric, and colored pencil. Along with strong Nigerian influence, her style is also derived from pop culture, personal experience, and western academia. However, her work cannot be categorized as either American nor Nigerian, but rather the work is an autobiography based on her "character that doesn't fit into a box." She is negotiating the cultural landscape between her assumed home in America and her native home in Nigeria. Through her practice, Crosby creates works that expose the challenges of occupying these two worlds.

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