Nigerian-American painter Njideka Akunyili Crosby takes inspiration from her Nigerian roots and combines them into her own millennial experience of America.
The first image above entitled ‘Home: As You See Me’ (2017) showcases objects from her grandmother’s meshed in with Crosby’s own Ikea furniture from her apartment in LA.
Akunyili Crosby became a 2017 McArthur fellow last year. Writes Art.net:
Akunyili Crosby’s paintings of herself, her family, and friends, often relaxing or embracing in their homes and other private spaces, explore cultural hybridity through a welter of references. They contain images of popular Nigerian musicians and beauty queens, ads from fashion magazines, and photographs from family events to situate themes relating to tradition and newness, politics and culture, and urban and rural in buzzing tension. African viewers may be able to immediately decode the images, while they may require some elucidation for the average Western observer.
In an interview with Fader Magazine, Nike FC’s Design Director Pete Hoppins says the Nigeria kit was actually the easiest one to design:
Nigeria was actually the easiest! That’s everyone having fun. We worked closer with the players and the Nigerian federation to make that happen. The hardest were Brazil and England, just like always. It’s got to be a yellow kit and a white kit, respectively. You have to deliver that. Otherwise, you’ll be shot. [laughs] How do you move those forward every two, four years? Especially when you’re trying to innovate the performance. We’re not just going to add things to the kits for the sake of it.
What Nigeria is hopefully going to allow us to do in the future is show that some of the more traditional teams that if you are willing to be creative in the partnership, you can ultimately have something more culturally relevant that connects with the youth.
From the Nigerian archives comes the band Grotto’s lost 1977 gem, At Last, reissued by the Lago-based Odion Livingstone label. Odion Iruoje was a former A&R manager at EMI whom discovered the group and recorded their album.
Influenced by the likes of Jimi Hendrix and Carlos Santra, the group formed a rock/funk fusion band at St Gregory’s college in 1974. Recalls Odeon:
“I was into youth bands at the time, I felt they offered something fresh, most pros were into reggae which I hated (not as a genre but the aping of it).. youth bands allowed me to experiment, I gave them something and they in turn gave me something, which I could take to the next project. They made me in a way. EMI (Nigeria) did not really get the emergence of the youth market, they thought I was fooling around with kids.”
William Onyeabor was a Nigerian musician and businessman. He was known as “The Chief” in southeast Nigeria, where he built “the greatest record manufacturing business in all of West Africa.” He released nine funky electronic albums in total, all pressed at his own studio.
A legend, he passed away last month. His music survives him.