W Magazine profiles Njideka Akunyili Crosby after a dramatic few years that have seen her stature rise in the art world both critically and in market terms. Crosby is no fan of her new market status: “I don’t stay up all night when I’m seven months pregnant so that my work can be auctioned,” she said when the subject came up. “People expect me to be happy, but it put a spotlight on me in a way I don’t like at all. I like operating quietly, on my own, in the background.”
Diane Solway visits at her Los Angeles home:
On the day of my visit, her son, Jideora, born in December, was cooing in the arms of his male babysitter in the garden. Akunyili Crosby and her Texas-born husband, Justin Crosby, who is also an artist, had moved into their modernist ranch house the previous July, she explained, though given her pregnancy and work demands, they had only recently finished unpacking boxes and hanging paintings acquired through trades with friends like Wangechi Mutu, Kehinde Wiley, and Charles Gaines. These took pride of place in the living room, which was furnished simply with a couch, Turkish pillows found on Etsy, and a tiny carved bone sculpture of a Benin Queen Mother’s head, an iconic Nigerian talisman.