Native Tongue/Ogbe Oyeku


Fahamu Pecou (American, born 1975)




Acrylic and gold leaf on canvas


96 x 66 1/2 inches


Purchase in honor of Louise S. Sams, Chairman of the Board of Directors, 2011–2015, with generous support provided by Charles and Kristie Abney, Daniel and Sandra Baldwin, Carolynn Cooper and Pratap Mukharji, Charlene Crusoe-Ingram and Earnest Ingram, Howard and Helen Elkins, Holcombe and Nancy Green, Helen Griffith, Christopher and Kathleen Hohlstein, Jack and Ellen Holland, Jeb and Karen Hughes, Sarah Kenan Kennedy, Joel Knox and Joan Marmo, Ms. Wendy W. Kopp, J. Hicks and Jane Lanier, Bertram and Barbara Levy, Forrest and Lorri McClain, Allen and Sally McDaniel, Morgens West Foundation, Jean-Paul and Toni Pentecouteau, Sidney and Phyllis Rodbell, Michael A. Rooks and Jeffrey Cassens, D. Jack Sawyer and Bill Torres, Paul and Sara Steinfeld, Terry and Margaret Stent, Stephen and Michelle Sullivan, and Chelton Tanger and Peggy Hagen

Accession #


On View

Currently not on view

Influenced by West African cultures, Fahamu Pecou’s works offer a critique on the contemporary topics of celebrity, media, and racism. Dr. Sean Meighoo coined the term “‘Fahamenology’ of performance,” describing the way Pecou’s works undo oppressive cultural structures of experience and consciousness, attempting a liberation of today’s marked male subject. Specifically, Native Tongue/Ogbe Oyeku depicts the artist himself, wearing a backwards Dan mask and sagging denim jeans, both politicized fashion statements. Both provocateur and griot, Pecou asserts his marked embodiment visible, inviting the viewer to contemplate the cross-cultural implications of ritual/resistance and life/death.

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