Njideka Akunyili Crosby (born 1983) is a Nigerian-born visual artist working in Los Angeles, California. Her works on paper combine collage, drawing, painting, printmaking, and photo transfers. Akunyili Crosby negotiates the cultural terrain between her adopted home in America and her native Nigeria, creating works that expose the challenges of occupying these two worlds. She has created a sophisticated visual language that pays homage to the history of Western painting while also referencing African cultural traditions. Akunyili Crosby depicts deeply personal imagery that transcends the specificity of individual experience and engages in a global dialogue about trenchant social and political issues.
A hallmark of her compositions is the use of small photographic images as if they were swatches of fabric. She photocopies pictures from various sources such as wedding albums and magazines and transfers them to paper using acetone solvent. The result is a memory-book textile that evokes the feelings of nostalgia, rootedness, homesickness, and loss, adding the dimension of time to the work and demonstrating the artist’s culture of origin is present in her daily life.