Artist Njideka Akunyili Crosby visited Anderson Ranch Arts Center last week. In her large-scale paintings, she captures scenes of multiple cultures coming together. She received a Macarthur Genius Grant in 2017 for breaking new ground in portraying the immigrant experience in her art.
"I make work that explores my life as a cosmopolitan Nigerian woman who lives in the United States right now and straddles both cultures," she said.
Crosby is wrestling with her newfound success. One person who keeps her grounded is her longtime friend, artist Doron Langberg. He was in town to co-teach a workshop on figure painting with her.
The two met in art school and were instantly drawn to each other, partly because they both grew up in other countries. Langberg is from Israel.
When I met Njideka, there was something very familiar because we’d traversed so far. I think there was an urgency and a purpose that we found in each other," he said.
"It just made sense for us to bond with each other because we existed in very complex spaces," she agreed.
The two spoke with reporter Christin Kay about how they’ve influenced each other over the years, as well as how their time in the Roaring Fork Valley inspired them.