Dora Akunyili’s daughter shines at debut Texas exhibition

Njideka Akunyili Crosby

Njideka Crosby, daughter of former director general of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) late Dora Akunyili, is enjoying the moment as her debut art exhibition in Texas, USA has received positive reviews.

This is the first time the 35-year-old resident of Los Angeles will be showing her works on paper at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.

Her husband Justin Crosby, being a sculptor born in Texas, has helped her understand the city.

Mrs Crosby’s exhibit consists of six pieces divided into three pairs blending the cultural contexts of her dual identity.

Each piece was made using the same meticulous process, which involved everything from making lists to carefully selected photo transfers.

She used a variety of media – a combination of acrylic paint, photographs, coloured pencils, collages, charcoal and fabric.

The visual artist also intentionally chose not to frame the images with the intention of getting viewers as close to the work as possible.

Hers are not overtly political works, but sincere layered explorations of living in an era of globalization.

“There’s an element of play in my work, just not coming across,” she said, standing in front of her work Dwell: Aso Ebi, featuring a woman sitting at a coffee table in blue stockings and a patterned dress.

Another of her works features a large, framed photograph of her parents in yellow formal clothing. Below them is a green floor composed of paint and small photo transfers of cultural icons, like former US first lady Michelle Obama.

Crosby grew up in Enugu and went to boarding school in Lagos. She was trained as an artist in Philadelphia and New Haven, Connecticut before ultimately settling in Los Angeles.