Mikel Elam is a visual artist who interweaves themes of history and futurism through expressive mixed media paintings. Bliss Consciousness brings together recent works that connect Elam’s interests in mindfulness, Afrofuturism, and an overarching philosophy of love. Elam’s figurative imagery often begins with photographic inspiration. The subjects become abstracted through his process of layering, erasing, deconstructing, and reimagining imagery. He builds interdimensional worlds around the characters in his paintings, suggesting narratives through paint and collage.
Elam’s paintings convey his belief in cultural unity. His imagery simultaneously celebrates the beauty of dark skin while emphasizing the humanity of his subjects over physical traits. These figures are grounded in reality but transcend everyday consciousness. In the artist’s words, his paintings “evoke memories of the past with a glimpse into an inclusive future.”
Bliss Consciousness is curated by Heather Moqtaderi of Past Present Projects. This exhibition was made possible with support from The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation and was produced by The Sachs Program for Arts Innovation, in partnership with Penn Live Arts.
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Tuesday, October 10, 5 PM - 6:30 PM
Please join us for an opening celebration on Tuesday, October 10, from 5 PM - 6:30 PM. Remarks will be at 5:30 PM.