29.3.12

Njideka Akunyili




It's not everyday you come across an art piece by a Nigerian artist explicitly showing biracial love so when I saw the work of Njideka Akunyili, I was very intrigued not only by the subject of her work, but the pieces as a whole. In doing some research (i.e. my friend Google), this is what the Akunyili says about her work:

My art addresses my internal tension between my deep love for Nigeria, my country of birth, and my strong appreciation for Western culture, which has profoundly influenced both my life and my art. 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. {See more of her statement here}

As immigrants, I think this question of divided loyalties often comes up especially when one has been away from "home" for many years and when you throw in some of the challenges that may arise from being in a biracial relationship (i.e. maybe family and friends not being as supportive, etc.) it all seems like a big mixed bag of emotions which clearly can drive unique and beautiful art as in the case of Akunyili.
{Photo: Yale University School; Artist Statement: Heather James Fine Art}

3 comments:

kelly jo said...

holy moly these are INCREDIBLE! the subject matter, and the color! WOW!

Anonymous said...

Absolutely love these... The message is so strong...

Ada said...

Hi Brandi,
The art is gorgeous and the feeling behind it is one that I can really identify with. The line between immersing yourself in someone(thing) different and remaining true to yourself can be hard to detect.
Good work on finding Ms. Akunyili.
Ada