Njideka Akunyili Crosby
B. 1983, Enugu, Nigeria. Lives and works in Los Angeles
Through her collage-based paintings depicting intimate, personal scenes, Nigerian-born, L.A.-based artist Akunyili Crosby is pulling focus onto a larger trend, what’s become known as “Afropolitanism”: the shifting multicultural identity of African citizens and members of the African diaspora as they move to more urban centers across the globe. The artist’s career has risen rapidly over the past few years, culminating this year with a highly coveted MacArthur “Genius” grant.
B. 1929, Matsumoto, Japan. Lives and works in Tokyo
Kusama’s career spans seven decades, but 2017 might have been her biggest year yet. The prolific 88-year-old Japanese artist’s immersive installations bridge Pop Art and Minimalism, which put her on the map by the middle of the 20th century and have helped make her one of the highest-grossing female artists at auction today. Meanwhile, Instagram has provided a new platform for a younger generation of fans to engage with Kusama’s glittering, mirrored installations, giant polka-dotted pumpkins, and energetic abstract paintings. (For even younger art lovers, 2017 also saw the publication of a children’s book about Kusama’s life.)
Image: Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Home: As You See Me, 2017. Photo by Brian Forrest. © Njideka Akunyili Crosby. Courtesy of the artist and Victoria Miro, London/ Venice.