Artist’s exhibit challenges societal issues
By Monica Crowe / firstname.lastname@example.org
The paintings and video art of Atlanta talent Fahamu Pecou is now on display at Dunbar Gallery on the campus of Grambling State University. “All Falls Down” is a series of work that the artist said he created as a conversation about black youth culture and how it is influenced by the media.
"My work has been inspired by what I see in social structures," Pecou said. "We are fed our ideas about the world by the media, and it’s led to acute social treatises in black masculinity. "
Pecou said the intention of his art is to prompt people to ask questions and to encourage new thinking about certain social aspects.
"(My work) asks the question, ‘When does self-preservation become self-destruction,’" he said. "Within black male culture, you’re taught from an early age means of defending and protecting yourself. A trait of masculinity, regardless of race, is to be tough-don’t cry. It’s a means of shaping boys into men. At a certain point, especially in black males, it becomes self-destructive, and you don’t see a lot of men evolve in media. You only see a snippet of black life, and you don’t see a lot of examples of men transcending beyond that."
An example of Pecou’s thought-provoking work isthe videoartpiece “Dumb Low,” in which the artist depicts repetitious stop-motion animation of a black male wearing sagging pants that fall lower in each frame.
Pecou said he selected the work on display in the GSU exhibit from one of his larger collections, “Hard to Death.”
"I chose this particular body of work specifically for this show, knowing the audience that I would have," he said. "It gives a unique opportunity because my work is dealing with issues around a specific demographic (that is predominant at GSU)."
Pecou spoke with art students before the exhibit’s opening reception on Feb. 12 about branding and self-marketing, a subject he is familiar with.
"I decided to take the wheel in my own career and not wait for someone to credit me for what I was doing," he said of his journey as a self-employed artist.
Pecou, who received a bachelor’s degree from Atlanta College of Art and has been a full~time artist for the past five years. He is the founder and owner of Red Creative Agency in Atlanta and said he now plans to pursue a Ph.D. in sociology.
In early summer Pecou will exhibit in San Francisco, and next fall he will do a three month residency in Charlotte,N.C.