Large-scale limited edition prints made from images found in zines created by artists including Meshal al-Obaidallah, Evar Hussayni, Nasreen Shaikh Jamal al Lail and Younes Zemmouri are on exhibit in East of West’s show “Mother Tongue: The Art of Printed Language,” which opens on April 13.
“Mother Tongue explores the intersection of language and aesthetic through the intricacies of printed word as art,” explains East of West’s founder and director L.E. Brown. “The subjects of the zines focus around personal experiences and identity.”
The exhibit acts as a preview for the multiple zines that the gallery is releasing at the Santa Fe Zine Fest on April 14. Zines are noncommercial, often homemade or online publications usually devoted to specialized or unconventional subject matter.
Some of the zine authors are members of Variant Space, an artist collaborative based out of the U.K. that focuses on the art of Muslim women. Most of the zines are visual essays that may contain words in Arabic and/or English.
“I’ll have a few of the zines at the gallery so people can see them,” says Brown. “They vary in length, from about 10 to 20 pages.”
Any zines that aren’t sold at the Santa Fe Zine Fest will be available to purchase at the gallery.
East of West, an art gallery that exhibits work by contemporary artists from the Middle East, South Asia, Africa and their diasporas, has a mission to amplify artists’ voices, shift negative narratives and stereotypes and help bridge gaps between communities.