Today we’d like to introduce you to Zeina Baltagi.
Zeina, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I am an artist and educator. I was raised between Stockton, California and El Minye, Lebanon. I hold a B.A. from California State University, Northridge and a deep love for the San Fernando Valley. I have exhibited work in collaboration with; LADOT, Union Station, Los Angeles Road Concerts, PØST, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, Torrance Art Museum, bG gallery, Klowden Mann. Including university galleries throughout California; such as Claremont Graduate University and Cal Lutheran University. I believe in accessibility in physical spaces, education, spirituality, work, and emotions. I have many unique stories, but alas I am not my story.
Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I found expression in writing and drawing as a way of coping through childhood. In young adulthood that expression billowed into tools for shedding and empowerment. For the past few years, I have been creating art from a space of constantly wanting to be a better person.
I start by exploring my contradictions within identity and social politics. I measure the distance between them to find my next challenge. I create spaces for these contradictions to exist by ritualizing and transforming materials with a series of actions. This reveals moments of tension in my aim for physical, emotional, economic and cultural mobility.
My work can range from turning gas station lottery tickets, scratchers, and receipts into a handmade paper installation of a tire mound explosion to belly dancing to Warda and Rage Against the Machine in an outfit made of sharp spikes and thousands of pennies.
Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
I think it is import to remember that the ‘art world’ does not exists without artists supporting each other.
What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can check my website at www.zeinabaltagi.com and sign up for my newsletter. Follow me on Instagram @zeina_baltagi for updates on my work and happenings. And come to my shows whether in a reputable gallery or rogue in the streets of Los Angeles.
I am honored to be exhibiting in QiPO 01. Opening Feb 7-9th.
QiPO 01 is the first iteration of international art exhibits co-organized by members of the QiPO curatorial collective during Art Fair Week in Mexico City. QiPO 01 features galleries, curators, artists and collectives including Mexico City, Berlin, Los Angeles and Tokyo. I am thankful to be curated in by Claudia Huiza. claudiahuizapresents.com.
I am also showing in Feminist Perspective 5.0 at the Historic Montalban Theater located within the The Mezz Gallery.
The show will be running from March 4th – April 24th. Opening night: March 8th from 7 – 11 pm. Curated by Baha Danesh. wechooseart.com
- Website: www.zeinabaltagi.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @zeina_baltagi
- Other: https://www.youtube.com/zeinabaltagi
Images taken by Jason Groffman, Erin Stone, Daniel Pinci, and Jessica Wimbley