It looks like the late Dora Akunyili’s daughter, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, has the Midas touch, as she is blazing the trail in her artistic endeavours.
Njideka Crosby was born in Enugu and eventually went to university in the U.S intending to be a doctor, but grew to fall in love with art instead. She graduated with a degree in biology and studio art in 2004 and since then, her work has evolved to what it is now.
Only a few years ago, her paintings were sold around the $3000 range, but last year, one of her paintings sold at Christie’s for over six times its estimate!
A few months ago, Bush Babies, another of her paintings from 2017, sold at Sotheby’s at an all time high of $3.4 million (1.2 billion Naira). This is a huge achievement for an artist of colour and could also indicate that there is a wider acceptance of art by people of black heritage.
Njideka Akunyuli Crosby’s recognitions
Njideka Akunyili Crosby is also a recipient of the 2017 MacArthur ‘Genius’ Grant. The grant (from which Chimamanda Adichie also benefited from in 2008) will give out $625,000 over 5 years as an investment in her potential.
Njideka crafts her work around her regular life experiences in Nigeria and her life abroad. As such, artist, Charles Gaines describes Njideka’s work to the Wall Street Journal as the strongest paintings he has seen in a long time. Still, art critics wonder if she can maintain the prices her art have risen to, but we are certain that we have not heard the last of Njideka Akunyili Crosby yet.