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CULTURE

THE NIGHT Fahamu Pecou received a simple gift, an old construction

box, he learned about transformation. He had been studying African art and decided to create a spirit box as a tribute to his mother. For years, the story of her murder by his father went unspoken by Pecou and his three siblings. Fortunately, the act of transforming the box encouraged him to discuss his past and set him on a journey to change his future. Pecou’s first exhibit “Life After Death” centered on his mother’s death. The show affected attendees in different ways. Some cried, some sat in the middle of the art installation; others complimented Pecou for how he was able to deal with his struggles. Though the first show was emotional, Pecou liked the reaction from the crowd.

“I wanted to do something that meant something. Make connections and resonate with the audience.” Pecou, knew that he didn’t want to simply make art that was just pretty, but art that would evoke inspiration and challenge the viewer Success and recognition quickly followed, but at times people missed the deeper message in Pecou’s art. The exhibit “Stunt’d Like My Daddy” challenged the idea of Black Masculinity and the perception of the white gaze. He used images of his actual body in the series. In one piece, he holds a strategically placed picket sign that reads, “More than (the sum of) some of his parts.” Pecou understands the difference between hype and meaningful content. He recognizes that the body of the Black male is often dissected into parts. Athletes, entertainer, and laborers are often the symbols of Black masculinity. Pecou’s works combine observations on hip-hop, fine art, and popular culture. He thrives on the notion of collaboration, rigor, and the questions that occurs in an academic setting. Fahamu Pecou is currently a Ph.D. student in Emory University’s Institute of Liberal Arts (ILA). His work is featured in national and international collections such as the Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art and Culture, Societe Generale in Paris, Nasher Museum at Duke University, The High Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia, and many others. Pecou is the curator of “ELEVATE 2015,” an Atlanta based project from the Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs. The theme is “Forever I Love Atl (F.I.L.A.)” with art projects going on display in central downtown Atlanta this fall. It might be easy to overlook the journey and trials that Fahamu Pecou has experienced to get to where he is today. His struggles are evident in his art, but the result of those struggles is overwhelmingly positive. He wants his work to be used as a tool for his son and other young black men. Pecou will continue to shape contemporary representations of Black masculinity just as he shaped that spirit box years ago. There will be more conversations because of his art. This is how he intends to impact the future.

URBANLUX

Profile for Urban Lux Magazine

URBAN LUX MAGAZINE - THE 2015 LUX LIST ISSUE  

Deborah Cox graces our LUX LIST cover as we prepare to bring the year to a close and celebrate once again a prestigious ensemble of leaders...

URBAN LUX MAGAZINE - THE 2015 LUX LIST ISSUE  

Deborah Cox graces our LUX LIST cover as we prepare to bring the year to a close and celebrate once again a prestigious ensemble of leaders...

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