Artists Magazine

SEEING BLACK

The first thing you notice about the paintings of Fahamu Pecou is the color—bright eye-popping hues that set up a bold graphic backdrop for what is a very contemporary expression of Black male identity. In fact, Pecou spent a number of years designing promotional material—graphic images, mostly—for hip-hop artists. “Doing that type of work is what led to my visual aesthetic,” he says.

HIP-HOP PERSONAS

Pecou wouldn’t be the first artist who transitioned from commercial art to fine art; Jenny Holzer and Andy Warhol both applied the look of magazine covers and advertising illustration that they’d produced earlier in their careers to the images they created for the art gallery milieu—and Pecou has also re-created the look of commercial design in his paintings. What differs is that the subject isn’t a rap artist but Pecou himself in a hip-hop-inspired pose. The colorful backgrounds of these paintings might seem to be waiting for a magazine’s logo and cover lines, but in this case, the

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Materials
illustration board sized with gesso • tracing paper• Saral transfer paper• tape• red colored pencil ⅛- to 1-inch synthetic flats • Cremnitz white• Mars black• raw umber• transparent earth yellow• Spanish earth• alizarin crimson• Winsor red• neutral t