Njideka Akunyili Crosby: In Conversation | Tate Talks

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, an Nigerian artist who mixes painting, drawing, charcoal, collage, and photo transfers, is currently based in Los Angeles and was granted the MarArthur Fellowship in October 2017.

Akunyili Crosby’s work continually deals with the mixture of heritages, with the cultural exchanges between Nigeria and Great Britian as well as themes of African diaspora. In this interview between Akunyili Crosby and Tate Modern’s research curator Zoe Whitley, she descibes the overall arch of her artistic career and explains how her use of photo transfers thematically mirrors her conceptual process: “Acetone… releases the ink onto the paper, and when I lift [the image] up, it transfers. And it seems to work thematically for what I’m interested in, thinking of transfers from one place to another, but also the unbraided quality that comes when a transfer happens, that loss of information.”

Further into the interview, she also discusses how her art practice is in conversation with Caribbean and African writers: “Chimamanda is someone I mention a lot… but there is also someone like Binyavanga Wainaina from Kenya… Junot Diaz from the Dominican Republic, Edwidge Danticat who is Haitian-American, Marlon James from Jamaica. And what you are really seeing is people who are invested and really understand the importance of representation… There are all these writers and artists that are staking the claim of their social existence by representing the things they feel are important.”