EBECHO MUSLIMOVA: EXCLUSIVE SCREENPRINT

EBECHO MUSLIMOVA: EXCLUSIVE SCREENPRINT

This new work features the artist's original character, Fatebe.

Born in 1984 in Makhachkala, Russia and raised in New York (where she also received her BFA from Cooper Union), Ebecho Muslimova has spent over a decade inventing her own visual canon, examples of which are now held in the collections of MoMA and the Whitney. This canon centers around Fatebe, a fictional figure Muslimova created while still an undergrad. What began as a simple line drawing in Sharpie—and an inside joke among her friends—is now a pillar of the artist's practice.

Fatebe evolved over several years into a multifaceted character, one that subsumes Muslimova's own anxieties and neuroses. Brazen and exuberant, Fatebe morphs with each work, sometimes traveling through different fantastical landscapes. "This performance, this slippage through the challenges I constantly make for [Fatebe], is what interests me and pushes the search for new scenarios," Muslimova said.

Fatebe is the focus of an exclusive edition available only on Platform. The screenprint with relief depicts Fatebe rocketing in outer space over an atmospheric haze as she reaches for the moon. This hazy effect was created using a split fountain technique, a unique and technically challenging process in which two or more inks are placed next to each other on the screen and blended by hand. Because they blend differently each time, no two prints are exactly the same.

Fatebe’s body is printed boldly in two layers of white, with Muslimova’s signature squiggly black line drawing layered over to outline her fleshy form. Her characteristic display of sexuality, vulnerability and humor (all at once) is unapologetic and representative of Muslimova's trademark style.

To learn more about Muslimova and her work, Platform spoke to the artist about why she finds inspiration when running, the reasons she uses certain materials for her art and the humanitarian crisis she hopes will end soon.

Ebecho Muslimova by Matt Grubb
PLATFORM

I've read that Fatebe, the uninhibited fictional character who appears in your works, is both a constraint that compels new creativity and sometimes a support that allows you to try new things you otherwise wouldn't. How has she (and your relationship with her) evolved over time?

EBECHO

Over the years she has been a constant point of focus and therefore has become to feel like a stable entity. I know her character more rather than needing to define her and so I can allow her to be less of a constraint and more of a reliable partner.

PLATFORM

Your practice incorporates both painting and works on paper. How does the material and physicality of a work shift the way you relate to it, if at all? What makes one material the right choice for one idea versus another?

EBECHO

In the paintings, Fatebe is often an actor in an environment, so there is a theatrical space that I can play with. With the physicality and the process of the medium, the depth that it offers inspires me to position her in a more spatially complex scenario. While Fatebe is rarely diminished in the paintings, the dimension of the narrative can grow around her. The drawings on the other hand give me the solace of her existing as an uncomplicated image. By that, I mean that the drawings are each a unique depiction of a complete self in the sense that she is morphed with and into whatever action or thing she is interacting with. I think the constraint of the flat black ink line still offers the same function it did when I began drawing her—a chance to invent an aspect of her with every drawing.

PLATFORM

Do you generally agree with the way your work is written about? Is there anything you feel is misunderstood or misinterpreted? 

EBECHO

Generally, yes. I can't recall something that I particularly disagree with. I guess maybe when [Fatebe] is introduced as especially grotesque or as some sort of affirmation mostly because I don't see her in any terms besides expressing her unique self.

PLATFORM

Where's an unexpected place you go to or an unexpected source you look to for inspiration?

EBECHO

Running—there is nothing that compares to the clarity and the simple flow of thoughts while on a good run. It's often then when I feel most physically strained in my body that ideas which normally would be obstructed by scrutiny can just unfold in my mind.

PLATFORM

What are you looking forward to?

EBECHO

The end of this horrific war on the people of Ukraine.