Mikael Owunna at PGC


Multi-media artist in residence Mikael Owunna will display images from his series Infinite Essence as a part of a public art campaign around Pittsburgh titled, "Infinite Essence: Celestial Liberation," in collaboration with curator Larry Ossei-Mensah and Orange Barrel Media. Owunna’s work will be on display at PGC June 1 - Sept 15.

Equipped with his camera, an ultraviolet light, and fluorescent body paint, multi-media artist Mikael Owunna sets out to recast the Black body as an incarnation of the eternal cosmos and make visible the divinity inherent in Blackness. His series “Infinite Essence” responds to pervasive media images of Black people being shot and killed by police, articulating an alternative vision of the Black body as immortal and transcendent. Owunna explores this transfigured vision of the Black body in relationship with West African spiritual and cosmological systems, particularly Igbo and Dogon, and each image references divine principles that connect Black bodies of the present across space and time to ancestral conceptions of the universe.

Free Event June 18

In honor of Juneteenth, on Friday, June 18 from 4-8PM, 1Hood Media will host the outdoor celebration "Art as Liberation: Celebrating Black Art in Pittsburgh" in collaboration with City of Asylum, artist Mikael Owunna, curator Larry Ossei-Mensah, Orange Barrel Media and the Pittsburgh Glass Center. 

The event will feature 12 Black visual artists from Pittsburgh, interactive workshops, live DJ, free food, performers and money raised will benefit the Antwon Rose II Foundation.

Ticket Price: Free
Date: Friday, June 18, 4-8PM
Address: 320 Sampsonia Way, Pittsburgh, PA, 15212

More About Mikael Owunna

Mikael Owunna is a queer Nigerian-Swedish American multi-media artist and engineer based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Exploring the intersections of visual media with engineering, optics, Blackness, and African cosmologies, his work seeks to elucidate an emancipatory vision of possibility that pushes Black people beyond all boundaries, restrictions, and frontiers.

Owunna’s work has been exhibited across Asia, Europe, and North America and been collected by institutions such as the Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Equal Justice Initiative, Duke University, and National Taiwan Museum. His work has also been featured in media ranging from the New York Times to CNN, NPR, VICE, and The Guardian. He has lectured at venues including Harvard Law School, World Press Photo (Netherlands), Tate Modern (UK), and TEDx. Owunna’s first published monograph Limitless Africans was released in 2019 by FotoEvidence, and he was awarded as a finalist for the FotoEvidence Book Award with World Press Photo.


412-365-2145 | glassinfo@pittsburghglasscenter.org