This exhibition presents three thematic threads from Oscar Arriola’s zine collection: 1) graffiti, 2) train monikers, and 3) the work of Edie Fake.
1) In the pre-internet days of the early 90's zines served as an underground conduit of information and photos from graffiti artists both in the US and around the world. As with cassettes and vinyl records, there has been a resurgence of interest in viewing graffiti photos in physical book format rather than as digital files on a screen. The zines and ephemeral objects on view reference the sprawling collaged and photocopied zines of that era.
2) Tramps, hobos, and train workers traditionally marked their monikers (or nicknames) on the sides of freight trains with chalk or oil markers. That tradition has been carried on by present day artists and train hoppers. The artwork on view is made by contemporary hobos.
3) Artist Edie Fake comes from a performance and hand-drawn comics background. Edie has produced an amazing array of detailed artwork referencing cities, architecture, and queer spaces.
#) Oscar Arriola is a photographer, zine collector, curator, and a staff member at the Chicago Public Library. Along with artist Chema Skandal, Oscar is a co-founder of ZINEmercado, a roving zine fest that has been presented in Chicago, Oak Park, Mexico City, and also in Oakland, California in 2018. FOTOmercado, an all photo zine & book fair in Chicago is his next project coming in March 2018. Oscar organizes The Stick Up! Chicago, a sticker drawing meet-up held at various Chicago art institutions periodically over the past 5 years. He attended Columbia College and currently resides in Chicago.