Video: Njideka Akunyili's 'Everyday Stuff'
Nigerian artist Njideka Akunyili paints beautiful, thought-provoking and in demand collages.
Nigerian-born artist Njideka Akunyili's collage paintings are beautiful, thought-provoking and sell like hotcakes. She just wrapped up a year-long residency at The Studio Museum and to mark it, the folks in Harlem have uploaded a three-minute video interview. The US-based artist talks about what drives her work, how fellow artist in residence Meleko Mokgosi has influenced her visual narratives, and her choice to represent domestic and intimate scenes:
"I think of my work as capturing the very ordinary, just normal everyday stuff. But I think there is something beautiful and powerful in the things that happen daily, intimate situations, sensual situations. Things people don't get to see. I think there's a beauty in that..."
Akunyili's commitment to documenting the mundane situates her within a cohort of African writers and artists who eschew the 'big' narratives which for some time dominated African cultural production. Instead of taking war, famine, hunger or the 'postcolonial question' as themes, their work foregrounds individual lives and realities to reveal, in Teju Cole's words, 'a whole world of ongoing human experience that is often ignored or oversimplified'.
Check out her website and watch the interview below: