VALDAN (Jan. 2013)
Fahamu Pecou- NEGUS IN PARIS
Backslash Gallery presents “NEGUS IN PARIS”, the second solo exhibition of American artist FAHAMU PECOU from January 10 until February 23, 2013.
FAHAMU PECOU’s exhibition “Negus in Paris” takes a critical and tender look at hip-hop culture and the relationship it maintains with its roots. Painting with humor, impertinence, or even occasional sarcasm he utilizes the codes of black culture on canvas or paper, displaying their evolution all while making evident, the complex elements of his own relationship to them.
In each of his works, FAHAMU PECOU strikes a pose with an object emblematic of African culture, such as a mask, statue, or musical instrument in a format that, through its colors, titles and framing, represents the covers of cultural or economic magazines. Each of these poses parodies those of carefully studied members of gangsta rap as well as their dress codes: cigar smoking and dark sunglasses reflecting spotlights.
Through his portraits, FAHAMU PECOU establishes a real link between the black contemporary artist (painter or musician) - directed and celebrated like a king on his throne - and the figure of the African sovereign, as evidenced by the emblematic presence of a miniature gilded throne in the center of the exhibition. The richness of the dialogue between modernity and the past is expressed by this motif, but also in the diversity of the visual mediums (acrylic, oil crayon, gold leaf) and by a technique that combines a finesse of line, depth of the colors and (graffiti-like) marks. This dialogue further materializes through the parallel placement of phrases taken from rap lyrics and verses from the poet Aimé CESAIRE Sr. and Léopold SEDAR SENGHOR, on “negritude”.
FAHAMU PECOU positions himself, with aptness and balance, within the image of black culture exactly as we see it and what it stands for in the affirmation of his negritude.
© 2013 VALDAN
Translated by Lisa Tuttle (additional edits by FPArt staff)