Mikel Elam: Diverse Works of Art

Painting by Mikel Elam, three figures
Artwork by Mikel Elam, Copyright 2022

Text and Artwork by Mikel Elam, Copyright 2022


Diverse Works of Art


Can diverse works of art be understood by people who have little to no understanding of its origins? This is an ongoing conversation I am having with my daughter. Similar to the conversations I have had with her about abstraction versus representational art .

We meaning all of us has grown up in a culture dominated by all things white. We know Marilyn Monroe to be the most beautiful on film and the all American suburban story . The great men in political history was George Washington and Abraham Lincoln . Great women in society might be Eleanor Rosevelt or Jackie Kennedy .  For the non white people these images were always iconic .  Art reproduced these ideals .

When African Art was discovered and placed it was the mysterious other,  until artists like Picasso and Brancusi came along.  Other’s took the elements and made it theirs too. Will we ever see the day when art from people of color will be considered a part of mainstream society? Instead of just being the other. 

At the moment it’s a novelty.  A trend. It’s been a novelty and trend before . It’s 2022 . Our world is a melting pot whether you like it or not . It should include all of the varying cultures just as much as the necessity to be bilingual in language. The world is constantly evolving. We must be able to communicate and navigate our ways through varying cultures. Let’s catch up. The sooner the better.


About The Artist: Mikel Elam was born in Philadelphia. He attended the University of the Arts receiving his BFA in painting. He also attended the School of the Visual Arts in New York. He has been showing his paintings in numerous gallery spaces nationally and internationally for the last 25 years. Mikel is currently an artist in residence at the Fitler Club in Philadelphia.


To see more of Mikel Elam’s artwork, link here: https://tonywardstudio.com/blog/trauma/

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