by Maria Sofou
Nigerian-born artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby uses a mix of collage, drawing and painting to create large-scale artworks that transfer the viewer to intimate scenes of her past – namely, everyday domestic experiences in Nigeria and America. These include compositions depicting her childhood, as well as more recent relationships and scenes derived for her years as a newlywed. Crosby’s paintings are enhanced by collage elements, mostly acetone-transfer prints of small photographs taken not only from the artist’s personal archive of snapshots, magazines and advertisements but also the internet. This leads to a captivating result that even though it is motivated by personal memories, it can be highly relatable as it touches universal themes like love, family and domestic life.
According to Victoria Miro, Crosby’s London gallery, the artist’s complex work reflects contemporary transcultural identity, drawn from her personal memories and experiences. “She uses the visual language and inherited traditions of classical academic western painting, particularly the portrait and still life. Akunyili Crosby’s characters and scenes, however, occupy the liminal, in-between zone that post-colonial theorist Homi K. Bhabha refers to as ‘the third space’, a point of overlap, conflation and mixing of cultural influences specific to diaspora communities.”
See her work: