Fahamu Pecou, photo credits The Atlanta Voice

Fahamu Pecou

United States 1975

Performance Art, Illustration, Photorealism, Video Art, Neo-pop, Painting, Drawing


Fahamu Pecou
Fahamu Pecou
United States
May 12, 2015
Alias of Jasmina Sevic, a researcher and author for Widewalls. She graduated from the Faculty of Political Science (Department for Journalism) in Belgrade in 2013.

Fahamu Pecou is an American artist and scholar who explores black male identity in art, performance and popular culture. Born in 1975, Atlanta-based Pecou received a BFA in Painting and Digital Media from the Atlanta College of Art in 1997 and he is currently a Ph.D. student in Emory University’s Institute of Liberal Arts.

Black Male Identity

A child of Southern hip-hop culture himself, Fahamu has an uncanny ability to capture the attitudes that fuel his frustration with the one-dimensional way that black men are perceived. In his oeuvre, he interrogates contemporary representations of Black masculinity and how these images impact both the reading and performance of Black masculinity. Earlier performance works in which he arrived at openings in a limousine with bodyguards, and paintings featuring the covers of art magazines bearing his likeness, toyed with how he thought others perceived him. But Pecou’s work took a more serious turn when he traveled to South Africa in 2008 and saw how the global phenomenon of hip-hop has influenced the way African American men are viewed abroad.

All Dat Glitters Aint Goals

His paintings, performances and music videos feature a finely crafted alter-ego — “Fahamu Pecou is the Shit” — modeled after popular tropes of hip-hop music and entertainment industry in order to embody the object of his critique. For example, in the series All Dat Glitters Aint Goals, which was also produced as a music video, Fahamu represents himself in gangsta glitterati personae.
Using parody and satire, Pecou’s work exposes today’s obsession with celebrity, exploitation of the masculinity of young black men, and the divide that racial ignorance and stereotypes perpetuate. Concurrently, his work celebrates the poetic nature of hip-hop’s language, both verbal and physical, as well as its powerful and empowering contribution to an increasingly hybrid global culture.


Pecou’s unique vision was showcased in his recent solo exhibition titled GRAV•I•TY, on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, which concluded on February 14. The exhibit explored issues imbued in the controversial trend of “saggin” – the style which sees young men wearing pants well below their waist – as an allegory to talk about Black male mobility and agency. He contends that fashion trends such as “saggin” can be a politicized statement, an act of resistance and a demand to be seen. The idea of “gravity” assumes multiple meanings in Pecou’s work: not only the unseen force that tethers us to the earth, but also the force that is grave and serious.

Fahamu - Atmospheric pressure arts, 2014
Fahamu Pecou – Atmospheric pressure (left), 2014, Pxoenix (right), 2014, from the GRAV•I•TY series, photo credits – artist

Pecou’s childhood

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Fahamu Pecou was only four years old the night that his father, who had long battled schizophrenia, murdered his mother as he and his young siblings watched television in a nearby room. Fahamu and his siblings were eventually sent to South Carolina to live in a public housing project with his mother’s aunt, a stern woman who had little patience for a sensitive boy who liked to sketch the cartoons he saw on television.

“Art was my saving grace, my go-to place when things got a little rough. Despite the turmoil of our house, you would find me in a corner, with paper and pencil, drawing quietly.” — Fahamu Pecou

Pecou at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta

In 2004, Pecou was invited to join Art, Beats and Lyrics a group show at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta. Since then Pecou’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions all over the world.
One of his latest exhibitions, titled Imagining New Worlds, responds to the work of the twentieth-century artist Wifredo Lam, providing contemporary perspectives on his life and career.

Fahamu - Native Tongue - Ogbe Oyeku, Imagining New Worlds Exhibition 2015
Fahamu Pecou – Native Tongue /Ogbe Oyeku, “Imagining New Worlds” Exhibition, 2015

Emerging Artist Award

Fahamu Pecou has received several awards and recognitions including an ARTADIA award, the NBAF Interpretations Emerging Artist Award, as well as a Best in Show Award for the 2007 Atlanta Biennial. He was named Critic’s Choice for Best Emerging Artist by Atlanta’s Creative Loafing in 2007.
Pecou has been awarded residencies at the Caversham Centre in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa and the first-ever Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts + Culture Resident at The McColl Center for Visual Art in Charlotte, N.C.

Work Featured in Publications

Fahamu’s work has been reviewed and featured in numerous publications including Art in America, Harper’s Magazine, NY Arts Magazine, Mass Appeal Magazine, The Fader Magazine, Atlanta Peach Magazine, NY Arts Magazine and on the cover of Artlies Magazine.
In 2011 his work is featured in DEFINITION: The Art and Design of Hip Hop, an anthology chronicling the impact of hip-hop on visual culture, written by well-known graffiti artist and designer Cey Adams, 5 Cities/41 Artists: Artadia O8/09, Artadia: The Fund for Art and Dialogue by Franklin et al Sirmans, NOPLACENESS: Art in a Post-Urban Landscape, as well as In the Eye of the Muses: Selections from the Clark Atlanta University Art Collection in 2012.

Fahamu’s oeuvre is included in many noted private and public national and international collections, Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art and Culture, Nasher Museum at Duke University, The High Museum of Art, Clark Atlanta University Art Collection and Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia, to name a few.

Fahamu Pecou lives and works in Atlanta, Georgia.

YearName of the exhibitionMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2015I Know Why the Caged Bird BlingsBackslash Gallery, Paris, FranceSolo
2015Imagining New WorldsHigh Museum of Art, Atlanta, GASolo
2015A Corps Perdu #2: Commissariat: Marc DonnadieuGalerie Gourvennec, Marseille, FranceGroup
2014Grav • i • tyMuseum of Contemporary Art of Georgia, Atlanta, GASolo
2014Pursuit of HappinessLyons Wier Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2014State of the Art: Discovering American Art NowCrystal Bridges Museum, Bentonville, AKGroup
2014Downtown Art Fair NYCDowntown Armory, New York, NYGroup
2014Art ParisBckslash Gallery, Grand Palais, Paris, FranceGroup
2013How to Eat WatermelonConduit Gallery, Dallas TX, Solo
2013All Dat Glitters Aint GoalsBlueOrange Gallery, Houston, TXSolo
2013Negus in ParisBackslash Gallery, Paris France, Solo
2013A Corps Perdus (Lost Bodies)Backslash Gallery, Paris, FranceGroup
2013Drawing Inside the PerimeterHigh Museum of Art, Atlanta, GAGroup
2013Aqua MiamiLyons Wier Gallery, Miami, FlGroup
2013Pulse MiamiLyons Wier Gallery, Miami, FlGroup
2013The Miami ProjectConduit Gallery, Miami, FLGroup
2012Native Sun: Selected Works 2008-2012Sumter Gallery of Art, Sumter, SCSolo
2012All Dat Glitters Aint GoalsLyons Wier Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2012Sophisticated IgnoranceAllen Priebe Gallery, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, WisconsinSolo
2012ResourcedLyons Wier Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2012Recent AcquisitionsNasher Museum of Art Duke University, Durham, NCGroup
2012Dallas Art FairLyons Wier Gallery, Dallas, TXGroup
2011Sophisticated IgnoranceMason Murer Gallery, Atlanta, GASolo
2011Hard to DeathBackslash Gallery, Paris, FranceSolo
2011Art History NextLyons Wier Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2011Second ChildhoodConduit Gallery, Dallas, TXSolo
2011Fahamu PecouRowan University Art Gallery, Glassboro, NJSolo
2011Dallas Art FairLyons Wier Gallery, Dallas, TXGroup
201124-JulLyons Wier Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2011Live & in stereo(type), Fahamu Pecou & Marcia JonesHarvey B. Gantt Center, Charlotte, NCGroup
2011Here and NowLyons Wier Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2010Whirl TradeThe Shooting Gallery, San Francisco, CASolo
2010All Falls DownGet This! Gallery, Atlanta, GASolo
2010All Falls DownGrambling State University, Grambling, LASolo
2010The Reflected GazeTorrance Art Museum, Torrance, CAGroup
2010Pulse MiamiLyons Wier Gallery, Miami, FLGroup
2010Backslash Presents…Backslash Gallery, Paris, FranceGroup
2009Coming From Where I’m FromBell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town, South AfricaSolo
2009Blak PresidentialVolta 5, Art Basel, SwitzerlandSolo
2009Blak PresidentialLyons Wier Ortt Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2009Instant Art History Immediately: The Fak’tryLyons Wier Gallery, New York, NYSolo
2009Whirl TradeGet This! Gallery, Atlanta, GASolo
2009Pulse MiamiLyons Wier Gallery, Miami, FLGroup
2009Endless Summer ExhibitionLyons Wier Gallery, New York, NYGroup
2008FahamenonNEXT Chicago, Chicago, ILSolo
2008Something Like a FahamenonVaknin Gallery, Atlanta, GASolo
2008Sitting By The Front DoorMMGalleries, San Francisco, CASolo
2008Stunt’d Like My DaddyConduit Gallery, Dallas, TXSolo
2008I Am a Man-RevisitedMuseum of Contemporary Diasporan Arts, Brooklyn, NYGroup
2008Bare Walls, No BoundariesWadsworth Atheneum Museum, Amistad Center, Hartford, CTGroup
2008UnknownBell-Roberts Gallery, Cape Town, South AfricaGroup
2008Movers & ShakersMuseum of Contemporary Art Georgia, Atlanta, GAGroup
2008Modern Art. Modern Lives. Then + NowAustin Museum of Art, Austin, TexasGroup
2007Million Dolla BabyLyons Wier Ortt, New York, NYSolo
2007Hustle & ShowFlanders Gallery, Raleigh, NCSolo
2007Things Done ChangedVaknin, Atlanta, GASolo
2007Taking PossessionUniversity of Arkansas, Little Rock, AKGroup
2007ACAC Talent Show: The 2007 Atlanta BiennialAtlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, GAGroup
2007Pulse Art FairMiami, Fl and New York, NYGroup
2007Swab International Art FairBarcelona, SpainGroup
2007Kindred Spirits, Arturo Lindsay & Fahamu PecouBlackburn Museum, Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, GAGroup
2006Neopop and CircumstanceConduit Gallery, Dallas, TXSolo
2006NeopoPular DemandMMGalleries, San Francisco, CASolo
2006What’s Going DownTaller Portobelo, Portobelo, PanamaGroup
2005Neopop Goes the WorldTy Stokes Gallery, Dallas, TXSolo
2005SelectionsTy Stokes Gallery, Atlanta, GAGroup
2005Pool Art FairSolita Hotel, New York, NYGroup
2005Altares: Encuentra CuturalTaller Portobelo, Portobelo, PanamaGroup
2005Art, Beats & LyricsHigh Museum of Art, Atlanta, GAGroup
2003Ferias de PortobeloLas Orquedias, Portobelo, PanamaGroup
2002The Delphina Project (performance)Spelman College, Atlanta, GAGroup
2001Santuario de los Reyes, Festival Iberoamericana de Teatro de CadizCadiz, SpainGroup
1997Precise SignificanceHammonds House Galleries, Atlanta, CAGroup