Places I’ve Been With Helicopters # 8 / Bushwick, Brooklyn
This work is part of a series the artist started in 2020 in response to the civil uprising and protests recognizing the brutal murder of George Floyd. For the artist, helicopters symbolize the feeling Black men have of constantly being watched—a feeling of being hunted even in their own neighborhoods, including being subjected to restraining curfews. This composition invites the viewer to intimately participate in the Black experience; it is intended both as a gift and an empowering act that operates beyond just inclusion.
Azikiwe's artistic practice encompasses an active social justice bend—including the nomadic New Davonhaime Food Bank and the Black Painters Academy. The artist works serve as images of and productions for Black prosperity. Azikiwe uses uplifting bright colors to depict serious scenes of: shared meals; comfort foods; helicopter searches; waves enclosing on empty lifebuoys; and raging fires that have been metaphorically (and literally) witnessed in 2020/21. In his works, the artist employs carefully placed ephemera, philosophy and vague silhouettes to record and share Black stories.
Azikiwe Mohammed records and shares Black stories in works that combine ephemera and philosophy. The artist uses uplifting bright colors to depict serious scenes that draw on both his personal life and his social justice work—such as sharing meals, helicopter searches and raging fires. Azikiwe’s objects, paintings, videos and installations offer viewers intimate participation while emphasizing inclusion and Black prosperity.
Azikiwe Mohammed was born in New York City in 1983. The artist received a BFA from Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York in 2005.
Solo exhibitions of Azikiwe’s work have taken place at: Yeh Art Gallery at St. John’s University in Queens, New York (2021); Elijah Wheat Showroom in Newburgh, New York (2020); Anna Zorina Gallery in New York City (2020); SCAD Museum of Art in Savannah, Georgia (2019); Mindy Solomon Gallery in Miami, Florida (2019); Public Swim Gallery in New York City (2019); and Ace Hotel Chicago in Illinois (2018); among others.
Group exhibitions that have shown Azikiwe’s work have taken place at: the Museum of African Diaspora in San Francisco, California (2022); Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, Arkansas (2021); David Kordansky Gallery in Los Angeles, California (2020); Good Weather Gallery in North Little Rock, Arkansas (2020); Wassaic Project in Wassaic, New York (2020); Spring Break Art Show in New York City (2020); Spring Break Art Show LA in Los Angeles, California (2020); and the Andrew Freedman Home in the Bronx, New York (2020); among others.
Azikiwe is the recipient of numerous awards and residencies, including the Rauschenberg Artists Fund Grant in 2021.
Azikiwe’s work has been covered in numerous publications, including: The New York Times; Frieze; Forbes; Hyperallergic; Artforum; Bomb Magazine; and Juxtapoz; among others.
Azikiwe lives and works in New York City.
This work is part of a series the artist started in 2020 in response to the civil uprising and protests recognizing the brutal murder of George Floyd. This composition invites the viewer to intimately participate in the Black experience.More
- Framed: 22.0 x 17.0 x 3.0 in.