WHAT TO SEE: B-Mike’s art at Studio BE.
The culmination of artist and NOLA native Brandon “B-Mike” Odums’ deep dive into street art, Studio BE is a 35,000-squarefoot warehouse filled with bold, sprawling murals that celebrate black history and pride. Odums was originally drawn to the medium of graffiti for its ephemerality, but Odums created Studio BE to give that medium a sense of permanence, making it the perfect home for “Ephemeral.Eternal,” his first solo exhibition. Odums spent six months transforming this dilapidated, cavernous space into a massive gallery filled with colorful, surreal portraits and immersive installations.
Walking through these awe-inspiring walls is an empowering experience, and it’s supposed to be. B-Mike’s art reminds us how far the United States has come and how far we still have to go. At Studio B, one mural that spans the width of the warehouse depicts a riot policeman pointing a rifle at a woman’s face. From the barrel of the gun issues a blooming red rose, the stem of which the woman grasps calmly with two fingers and her thumb. This kind of defiant optimism is the backbone of B-Mike’s work. One of his best-selling t-shirts aptly reads “I am my ancestors’ wildest dreams.”