Fahamu Pecou: Artist and Scholar

About the Artist / Scholar

Fahamu Pecou is a visual artist and scholar whose works combine observations on hip-hop, fine art and popular culture. Pecou’s paintings, performance art, and academic work addresses concerns around contemporary representations of Black masculinity and how these images impact both the reading and performance of Black masculinity.

Currently a Ph.D. student in Emory University's Institute of Liberal Arts (ILA), Pecou maintains an active exhibition schedule as well as public lectures and speaking engagements at colleges and museums nationwide.

His work is featured in noted private and public collections including; Nasher Museum at Duke University, The High Museum of Art, Paul R. Jones Collection, Clark Atlanta University Art Collection, The West Collection, and Museum of Contemporary Art Georgia

Fahamu Pecou at The Arts Company

About the Exhibition

All Dat Glitters Aint Goals sifts through rap music, hip hop culture, and mass media to provide a visual reference that exaggerates and calls into question the persona and “hype” upon which an entire segment of today’s society measures their worth. Though these popular ideals and images contrast starkly with the realities of most black youth, they often become the goals that many aspire to.

Artist Statement

My work seeks to provide a crucial intervention in contemporary representations of Black masculinity. I began my career experimenting with the branding strategies employed in hip-hop music and entertainment. These experiments ultimately led me to question not only the stereotypes engendered by the commodification of hip-hop culture, but more, to consider how the influence of historic and social configurations of race, class and gender impact and inform these representations.

I appear in my work not in an autobiographical sense, but as an allegory. My character “Fahamu Pecou is The Shit!” embodies the traits typically associated with Black men in hip-hop and juxtaposes them within a fine art context. This character becomes a stand-in to represent the ideals and ideas of Black masculinity and both the realities and fantasies projected from and onto Black male bodies. Through these works I seek to raise critical questions about the types of images and representations that come to inform the reading and performance of Black masculinity. Using parody and satire, my works expose our obsession with celebrity, our exploitation of Black masculinity and the divide that racial ignorance and stereotypes perpetuate. These ideas are expressed in paintings, videos, original music and performance-based work with each medium allowing me to articulate various nuances around my themes.

 -Fahamu Pecou

Leatrice Ellzy from CultureFest Nashville explains to Laura Hutson from the Nashville Scene why she chose artist Fahamu Pecou to be a part of CultureFest Nashville.