TIME 100 Next 2019
Njideka Akunyili Crosby’s works have sold for millions at auctions. But in 2018, it was possible to see one at Los Angeles’ Museum of Contemporary Art free of charge—you didn’t even have to go inside. The visual artist was only the second person to be chosen to create a mural on the walls of the museum itself, which was visible from Grand Avenue’s sidewalk. It featured brightly colored scenes of domestic life: in one section, a woman rests her elbow on a table, seemingly deep in thought. Akunyili Crosby—who moved to the U.S. from Nigeria in her teens—is known for such scenes, some of which are autobiographical and incorporate references to both countries. “I’m really looking at how [Nigeria and the U.S.] are complex hybrid spaces,” she tells TIME.