Nigerian-born Artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby Shatters Sotheby’s Record, Art Auctions For $1.1m


Nigerians are at it again. You don’t have to like it, but sooner or later, we will have no choice but to sit up and recognise that there is a New World Order, and we need to take our place at the frontier of it. Last week, Nigerian-born artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby set a new auction record. Her work, Drown, sold at Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale for $1,092,500; over three times the high-estimate ($200,000-$300,000).

Njideka Akunyili Crosby – 5 Umezebi Street, New Haven, Enugu, 2012
Courtesy the Artist and Craig Robbins Collection, Miami, Florida © Njideka Akunyili Crosby

And just in case you thought this was a fluke, you’d be mistaken. This is the second time in less than two months that this talented lady’s work has beaten the odds and broken Sotheby’s records. The previous auction record for the artist was $93,750, set by her “Untitled” work from 2011 in September 2016.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby, “The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born” 2013. Photo: Courtesy the Artist and Nasher Museum of Art, Duke University, Durham/(C) Njideka Akunyili Crosby

The work itself, Drown is an intimate self-portrait of the artist with her husband, Justin. In it, the artist demonstrates how the layers of her personal life layers with her various identities.

This is all already fabulous in and of itself. Adding the extra layer that she is the daughter of the late NAFDAC giant DORA AKUNYILI makes it clear that this lady comes from a family of greats.

Although being trained in the US, Njideka has never shied from her Nigerian roots and it is evident in her work. We are proud to call her sister, daughter, mother. A leader in this new fight to the front.  Massive congratulations to her!

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