October marks Long Beach Arts Month and the Long Beach Post has partnered with the Arts Council for Long Beach to celebrate the image makers, the painters, the dancers, the designers, the musicians, and the countless other artists who make our city vibrant and cultured. Our homepage will feature an artist’s own unique interpretation of Long Beach daily so make sure to check back every weekday to discover or rediscover a local talent.
Fatima Baqi hailed from Southeast Los Angeles before making Long Beach her home—and it shows in her style.
The young artist, born to a Moroccan father and American mother in Garden Grove, found the walls of Orange County stifling and migrated to the urban jungle of Los Angeles. Her use of bright, saturated colors harken to the classic graffiti that marked the many freeways, walls, and hidden spaces of Los Angeles.
“My roots are planted in graffiti and in my art, you’ll notice that I always incorporate many elements of the Southern California lifestyle such as the power lines, freeway signs and palm trees,” Baqi said. “In fact, my father loved palm trees so much, he gave me the middle name ‘Doha,’ which roughly translates to ‘big palm tree’ in his native language of Arabic.”
Baqi’s position as a female in a male-dominated subculture was part of what drew her toward the art. She found strength in standing alone and harkening to her three favorite sources of inspiration: Ernie Barnes, CHAKA and Long Beach native Joe Cool.
“I’ve always wanted to represent one way or another for us young women,” Baqi said, “and what way better than to it than to use art as an outlet for expression and spread a positive message.”