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Nigeria’s Visual artist, Njideka Akunyili Crosby among TIME’s 2019 ‘100 Next’

Nigeria’s Visual artist, Njideka Akunyili Crosby among TIME’s 2019 ‘100 Next’

Doris Ukaonu

Nigerian born visual artist, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, has been selected among TIME Magazine’s ‘100 Next’ list for 2019.

TIME’s ‘100 Next’ is an annual compilation of 100 people emphatically affecting the world with their talent. The 2019 issue has six covers, each showcasing one member of the list.

The Los Angeles based artist was selected alongside prominent stars like Camila Cabello, Lil Nas X, Bad Bunny, Jharrel Jerome, Keke Palmer, Coco Gauff, among others.

Crosby is the daughter of late Dora Akunyili, former Director-General of the National Agency for Food Administration and Control from 2001 to 2008; and also a former Minister of Information and Communications from 2008 to 2010.

“When we first published our TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people 15 years ago, it was dominated by individuals who rose through traditional power structures: heads of state, CEOs of public companies, actors from big-budget blockbusters, leaders of global foundations,” said TIME’s Editor-in-Chief, Edward Felsenthal. 

“What has been striking about more recent editions is the growing number of individuals who did not need an establishment to command international attention. People like the Parkland, Fla., students who mobilized against gun violence (in 2018), and the climate activist Greta Thunberg (in 2019). TIME has always been a barometer of influence—and the nature of influence is changing.” He noted.

Most of Crosby’s artworks are described as masterpieces, they are valued at several millions. It was a privilege in 2018 to see one of her works free of charge at the Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art, viewers didn’t even have to go inside.

She broke records after the sale of one of her artwork ‘Bush Babies’ for  N1.2bn. She also won the $625,000 MacArthur Genius Grant which by a far mile made her N225m richer.

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She is fondly described as a deep artist who paints brightly coloured scenes of domestic life, some of which are autobiographical and incorporate references to both countries (Nigeria and U.S.)

“I’m really looking at how [Nigeria and the U.S.] are complex hybrid spaces,” she told TIME.

Time’s 2019  ‘100 Next’ enlisted a total of 53 vibrant females steadily cutting edges with their craft. The youngest is Alysa Liu, American figure skater and national champion who is only 14-years-old.

Other notable names from the ‘TIME 100 Next’ debut are, Pyer Moss’ Kerby Jean-Raymond, Henry Golding, Lili Reinhart, and Desus.

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