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Fahamu Pecou

2020 State Fellow

Fahamu Pecou

Recipient Information


Decatur, Georgia


Acrylic on canvas

Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Southern Prize and State Fellowship

Grant Amount


Artist Biography

Fahamu received his BFA at the Atlanta College of Art in 1997 and a Ph.D. from Emory University in 2018. Dr. Pecou exhibits his art worldwide in addition to lectures and speaking engagements at colleges and universities. As an educator, Dr. Pecou has developed (ad)Vantage Point, a narrative-based arts curriculum focused on Black male youth.

Pecou’s work is featured in noted private and public national and international collections including; Smithsonian National Museum of African American Art and Culture, Societe Generale (Paris), Nasher Museum at Duke University, The High Museum of Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Seattle Art Museum, Paul R. Jones Collection, Clark Atlanta University Art Collection and Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia.

Pecou was recently named the inaugural Artist-in-Residence for the Atlanta Beltline. In 2017 he was the subject of a retrospective exhibition “Miroirs de l’Homme” in Paris, France. His work also appears in several films and television shows including; Black-ish, The Chi, and Lifetime’s The 10th Date.

Artist Statement

Through paintings, drawings and performance-based work, I work to complicate various images and representations that inform perceptions of Black male masculinity. By engaging the various stereotypes and misconceptions about Black men — both those imposed and those assumed — I attempt a critical intervention concerning our collective understandings of Black identity.

In staged photo shoots and performances, I embody stereotypes about Black males as a way of exploring and subverting them. Subsequently, I engage these stylized images in dramatic paintings and drawings, often incorporating various expressions of the African diaspora which includes the visual iconography of Yoruba (Ifa) spirituality, the somatic attitude of hip-hop bravado, and philosophy of the négritude movement.

In mining the Black experience across time and place, I can dynamically engage my themes with works that despite being rooted in the Black experience, provide meaningful engagement and insights across all walks of life.

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