Njideka Akunyili

Region: Northeast

Not only do my experiences living in diverse cultures make me the individual I am, but they also provide rich subject matter upon which I base my studio practice. I grew up in Nigeria, a former British colony, and eventually immigrated and settled in the United States as an adult. In making my artwork, I explore my internal tension between my deep love for Nigeria and my strong appreciation for Western culture, a culture that has profoundly influenced both my life and my art.

I collage, print, paint and draw to create seemingly unified images. These unified images and their more subtle rifts parallel the multi-layered nature of my cultural experience as well as its complications. I collage and print nostalgic images from Nigeria onto Western-style paintings and drawings of my current life. By combining these different means of representation, I create a visual metaphor for the harmony and friction that still exists within the hybrid world of overlapping cultures in which I live.