Obodo (Country/City/Town/Ancestral Village) by Steven Nelson
Earlier this year, Njideka Akunyili Crosby created the outdoor mural Obodo (Country/City/Town/Ancestral Village) to cover the Grand Avenue façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Ostensibly a transformation of several of the artist’s past works from painting, collage, and printmaking into adhesive vinyl, the mural transforms architect Arata Isozaki’s red sandstone façade into a massive tableau on which Crosby explores personal history, the workings of memory, and quotidian experience.
When asked about her life as an immigrant in the US based in Los Angeles, Crosby insisted, “Nigeria is my home.” With that in mind, Odobo not only underscores the artist’s recollections of her homeland but also explores connectedness and disconnectedness to the place of both her birth and her current residence. Through autobiography, memory, and even nostalgia, Crosby’s mural exists as an intense meditation on the experience of migration.
Image: Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Obodo (Country/City/Town/Ancestral Village), 2018 Adhesive vinyl, Courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro, London/Venice
This project by Njideka Akunyili Crosby is generously supported by MOCA’s Board of Trustees
Photography by Elon Schoenholz