Njideka Akunyili Crosby tells subtle yet powerful stories through art

Njideka Akunyili Crosby “The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born” Might Not Hold True For Much Longer, 2013 Acrylic and transfers on paper 167.6 x 213.4 cm 66 x 84 in Courtesy the Artist and Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham © Njideka Akunyili Crosby

Every person, every country, every continent has a story and it’s up to you to determine how your story will be told.

Njideka moved to the United States at the age of 16 and was displeased with the stories that were on everyone’s lips about Nigeria and Africa, It seemed that Africa was only seen as the scene of crisis.

Knowing there was there was something wrong with this narrative, Njideka needed to let the whole world know that although we were dealing with our issues as a nation and continent, we lived normal lives and also ask questions like “who will ask me out on a date,” “who should pay for the meal on a date and much more?”

Njideka’s artworks are luminous interiors teeming with eye-catching collage elements that can easily offset delicately painted figures.


Her paintings are compelling, decorative and are very much about her day-to-day life.

In her own words “I think people sensationalize places in their heads, so I wanted to show just how normal life is in Nigeria.”

In June, she won the Prix Canson annual award for works on paper by artists under 50.

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