12 May 2012

Njideka Akunyili

Njideka Akunyili is an artist who has received numerous awards for her unique artistic style. The daughter of a Nigerian minister and  graduate of Yale University, Njideka addresses her internal tension between her Nigerian origins and Western culture through her artwork.

Njideka Akunyili writes, 
"I use my art as a way to negotiate my seemingly contradictory loyalties to both my cherished Nigerian culture that is currently eroding and to my white American husband. Most of the Nigerian traditions I experienced growing up are quickly disappearing due to the permeation of Western culture and the ensuing opinion that being ''too Nigerian'' is uncool. I feel dismayed by Nigerians' unquestioningly valuing anything Western as superior however, my awareness of this problem does not exempt me from it - indeed, I question whether this mentality played a part in my falling in love with my husband. My art serves as a vehicle through which I explore my conflicted allegiance to two separate cultures."

For more on Njideka Akunyili, visit her website,
or her page at the Heather James Fine Art Gallery.

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