New Art Alert! Two Vivid Editions From Kindah Khalidy May 03 2016

San Francisco based artist Kindah Khalidy makes her 20x200 debut with a pair of happy-making abstractions, Untitled (a) and Untitled (b). Below, 20x200 founder and head curator Jen Bekman gives her take on the painter’s bright, ebullient work.


Untitled (a) by Kindah Khalidy
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) | 16"x20" ($240) | 30"x40" ($2400) 

Untitled (b) by Kindah Khalidy
8"x10" ($24) | 11"x14" ($60) | 16"x20" ($240) | 30"x40" ($2400) 
 

As indicated by my own Instagram feed, I ping-pong back and forth between NY and SF with alarming (often exhausting) frequency. Currently I’m in the midst of an extended stay in NYC that I’ve savored every second of, but looking at SF-based artist Kindah Khalidy’s riotous editions this morning has given me that first twinge of longing for my home away from home. It’s also got me thinking about what makes her work feel so quintessentially Californian.

In Untitled (a) and Untitled (b) there are recurring organic shapes, cacti and citrus, that echo the California landscape, and shades of blue that mimic its ocean and sky. There’s a looseness to Khalidy’s work and spontaneity that’s evident in the paint-spattered chaos of her bright Mission studio. And there’s also her openness to how it’s interpreted, along with her stated intention to create work that makes people feel happy.

Perhaps the most modern California twist to Khalidy’s practice is the enthusiastic following she’s built online. She’s done collabs with indie brands like our friends at Of a Kind, has been profiled by smart, influential tastemakers like Sight Unseen, and her frequent inclusion in a wide range of “Artists to Follow on Instagram” lists (along with more than one nod from Instagram itself) has garnered her tens of thousands of fans on her feed, which delivers an exhilarating mix of her signature works-in-progress, studio shots and glimpses into the Bay Area art world, which is currently awash in an energy it hasn’t had for years.

The simplicity of Khalidy’s happy-making intentions and the easy appeal of her eye-popping shapes and colors might draw in many, but there’s also a discipline and seriousness to her practice that makes her the real deal. At first glance, it’s easy to see that Untitled (a) and Untitled (b) are vivacious and upbeat, but a closer look reveals their depth, their incredible detail, Khalidy’s drive, and positions her work in a context of other immensely talented artists. During our studio visit, we talked about the artists that influence her—a certain canvas that I can’t get out of my head had echoes of our mutual favorite Philip Guston—and the ongoing challenge of supporting oneself as a working artist. It’s our great pleasure to be able to add Khalidy’s incredible work to our roster and welcome her to the 20x200 fam.

With art for everyone,
Jen Bekman