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Powerful exhibit showcases Southern artist with complex take on race

This visually rich show is a mix of assemblage sculptures and paintings, as well as works on paper whose worked-over palimpsests of color and line convey a strong sense of the past. Their weathered, degraded appearance is one way Meko gets at his mission in “Pursuit”: to examine an emotional continuum of the African-American experience and show how a smart, urban black man who lives in the present also contends with the past’s legacy. DOWNLOAD REVIEW

ART PAPERS MAGAZINE

Cast Iron
Michi Meko

An artist almost drowns, then reflects on Black Buoyancy, Hemingway, and Mami Wata

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Michi Meko’s nautically themed “Pursuit” an ambitious high water mark...

The exhibition is a high-wire, ambitious effort to find the sweet spot between buoyancy and immersion; between sinking and swimming; and between the deeply personal and the universal. This visually strong narrative, cloaked in layers of meaning, offers a rich experience for the persistent viewer. DOWNLOAD REVIEW

 

Michi Meko’s installation, Studying the Silences: we used to eat this back home (2017), explores this through a whole series of stunning visual metaphors for the complex process by which an African-American heritage has to be rediscovered through lines of descent and preserved by honoring the ancestral lineage through which it came.

Michi Meko’s installation, Studying the Silences: we used to eat this back home (2017), explores this through a whole series of stunning visual metaphors for the complex process by which an African-American heritage has to be rediscovered through lines of descent and preserved by honoring the ancestral lineage through which it came.

 

Reflections in the Deep

Once caught in Meko’s formal qualities, the significance of the artworks becomes apparent. Meko’s use of symbols requires interaction from the viewer. And once involved, the viewer is fortunate to encounter an inspiring perspective. In November Charlie, a male body seems to be almost submerged by blackness, but his head is just above the abyss. This work suggests his perspective on the numerous offenses against black men that have caused demonstrations and uprisings across the country in the past couple of years. DOWNLOAD REVIEW

Building upon a series of recent works inspired by the history of navigation, Atlanta artistMichi Meko’s installation Studying the Silences: we used to eat this back home uses the dinner table as a site for uncovering cultural history and reclaiming inheritance.

Building upon a series of recent works inspired by the history of navigation, Atlanta artistMichi Meko’s installation Studying the Silences: we used to eat this back home uses the dinner table as a site for uncovering cultural history and reclaiming inheritance.

 

Staff Pick

Michi Meko

The day after Michi Meko’s recent exhibit Pursuit: Almost Drowned opened at Alan Avery Art Company, he almost drowned. “This is not a stunt to sale [sic] paintings. Nature just tested my metaphor and the ole boy stayed afloat,” he posted on Facebook next to a photo of him looking exhausted but delivered.