FugScreens celebrates 10 years as unique printmaking studio

Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff, artist and owner at Fugscreens Studios, will be celebrating his 10th anniversary with a show on Feb 19 at Galerie F, 2381 N Milwaukee Ave. 


What started out as an entrepreneurial screen-printing shop in a cold basement turned into FugScreens Studios in Wicker Park at 1735 N. Ashland Ave., which is celebrating its 10th anniversary on Feb. 19 with a show at Galerie F, 2381 N. Milwaukee Ave. 

The show features 10 artists who have collaborated with FugScreens or worked with Zissou Tasseff-Elenkoff, the founder and co-owner of the studio, according to Billy Craven. Craven, who co-owns Galerie F with Tasseff-Elenkoff, will be featured in the show along with Tasseff-Elenkoff.

Tasseff-Elenkoff opened the studio after he graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago with a bachelor’s of arts in printmaking. He said  his business has grown steadily throughout the years thanks to Chicago’s supportive printmaking community and connections in the city.

“The growth of FugScreens has been through those people who have helped pass the word and grow it through their own communities,” Tasseff-Elenkoff said.

Tasseff-Elenkoff started making gig posters for bands and small businesses and slowly expanded to commercial work. 

In 2015, Tasseff-Elenkoff finished one of the biggest jobs of his life—redesigning all of the 29 original Air Jordan shoes directly for the Nike company. The designs  will be on display at the show for the first time. 

“That was a nice round off to that decade of the studio growing and being recognized,” he said.

He has worked with major artists like Muse, Iggy Pop and Phish, but he enjoys working with local bands most.

“I still do things pro bono a lot of the times because I want to support the bands,” he said.

FugScreens has been a staple to Chicago printmakers and designers, said Lloyd Patterson, a Chicago printmaker who has worked in the studio since 2009.

Patterson said FugScreen’s access to expensive printmaking equipment and sole focus on printmaking design makes the studio stand out.

He said there are other studios but most are private and offer different art practices under one roof.

“[Working in a studio] becomes a community effort so you try to find studios or locations where people [are] together,” Patterson said. 

Patterson has also collaborated with Craven and Tasseff-Elenkoff, and said he helped create the logo for Galerie F. Patterson’s artwork will also be in the show, and he said he is curious to see which other artists are in it.

Chicago street artist Mosher, also part of the show, has worked with FugScreens since 2011 and said the studio has been monumental for his artwork. 

“It’s nice having all of these resources at my disposal,” Mosher said. “Zissou is a pretty good teacher and I have learned a lot working there with him.”

Mosher said he is excited to see all the different people who have come and gone through FugScreens in one show.

“We have artists who have come and gone along the way,” Patterson said. “It’s like having friends—a nice reunion.”