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  • Writer's pictureMikel Elam

An Artist's Perspective: Mikel Elam

Beauty and art can’t be completely explained. Both are different for each person. Much of what we like started in our early years at home, at school, at social events. It’s what our parents tell us growing up. One form of art is beautiful to one and ugly to another. It’s like Basquiat versus Michelangelo. Classical music lovers who hate jazz. We will never agree as a total culture.

We don’t have to agree. Of the billion plus people in the world, there is enough of a fan base for everyone…I don’t need to convince you. I can introduce you to my preferences and you can tell me about yours. Maybe we embrace it, or not. Let’s learn to recognize we are all similar and different, and we can be respectful too.



I am in search of my higher consciousness, all within the constraints of this part melanin-based vessel. Some say we arrive out of the womb already aware of our destiny. I have always gravitated toward future ideas: new approaches and ways of looking at things. I’ve been searching for humanity within the sea of infinite compassion. Simply trying to get closer to the divine. I meditate twice a day. I try to nourish my body and my soul with proper sustenance. My art practice is a continuation of these values. Often leading me into observations about this life and its consequences.

I love all of the art forms. I am most adept with pigments and painting devices. I listen to music, watch films, read constantly. Although when starting a painting, I work in silence. It gives me better clarity in developing a dialogue and a narrative within the art itself. Once the work is able to stand up; I can then begin to introduce external sounds to continue my practice.

I would say the single most reoccurring theme in my work is about identity. Especially in these times filled with such animosity towards the skin that many of my brothers and sisters inhabit. It is within this framework my paintings are born. The art, for me, is both an evaluation and validation of our existence. We exist. We are beautiful. We are powerful and humane. We are love.

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