I remember well the lovely piece by Fats in the Tobacco Factory at last year’s Upfest. This year she produced another fine work in South Street park, where I was able to catch up with her for a few minutes.
Fats talked a lot about her background and heritage, which is truly international and mixed, and how her work receives many influences, from Arabic calligraphy to the styles of indigenous Inuit people. Our discussion ventured further into the perils of perceived appropriation and how this can create some tensions. This is a tricky path really. At what point does ‘being influenced by’ transition into copying?
I am clear that Fats’ work is stunning, and carries many influences that she skilfully executes in her own lyrical way. I see more of the North American influence others may see more Arabic. One thing is clear, she loves her dark drawing lines. I actually really like this piece, and was grateful for her time.