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Kindah Khalidy’s blissfully chaotic colors + shapes

From Kindah Khalidy's solo show Soft Serve at Chandran Gallery

The urge to hibernate starts to hit hard this time of year, but before you impulse purchase footie pajamas let us point out something that always wakes us up: Kindah Khalidy’s riotous artwork. Khalidy’s sumptuous swirls, drips, blocks, curves, curled lines, layers, and luscious hues are all we need to power through a gray day. Her quirky, abstract shapes and characteristically prismatic palette ping-pong off each other, carrying on an exuberant conversation. Her two 20x200 editions are collector faves for a reason.

The Bay Area-based painter and surface designer has been hard at work gearing up for her new solo show at SF’s Chandran Gallery. Open through November 16th, Soft Serve is overflowing with artwork as deliriously delicious as the frozen treat it’s named after. Step inside and be greeted by a cacophony of delectable colors so dizzying and dreamy that they rival the deepest ice cream flavor display case you could imagine. In the mood to add sprinkles? You’ll find them in paint form peppering Khalidy’s exhibition.

Available on 20x200: Untitled (a) by Kindah Khalidy

Soft Serve features some of Khalidy’s largest canvas series to date, including a few 96”x72” works and a 96”x96” piece composed of four separate panels. “I really want the viewer to feel like they’re stepping into one of my pieces,” she told us. “Working on the large-scale pieces is a bit more of a workout because I’m getting up and down off of a ladder. It’s truly an interesting feeling to work on something larger than oneself.” These represent a segue that’s pushed the artist and her practice to evolve, though it’s worth mentioning that embracing the unexpected has long been a part of Khalidy’s process. She approaches a blank canvas without an agenda, what she describes as a “very intuitive and spontaneous process that unfolds as I’m working”. That comes across in her art—honest and impulsive-feeling, full of playful zest and joyful zing, but underscored by a clear, emphatic perspective.

While her recent work has been rooted in painting, Khalidy’s also had plenty of experience exploring three-dimensional media, and it’s something she’d love to delve into more in the future. The pieces on offer in her shop (textiles, pins, etc.) are scant at the moment, but she adds new items when she has time to make them. (Take this as your hint to check back for additions.) Right now, she’s working on a new screen print that incorporates fourteen colors, with individual screens for each hue. And then there’s the gasp-worthy cakes we’ve been spotting on her Insta feed—not for sale but obviously ogleable. It’s all derivative of her two-dimensional art. “Everything stems from painting and drawing,” she said. “Even when I’m sewing, it feels parallel to doing a sketch.”

All we know is everything Khalidy touches turns to … rainbow gold. Which sounds like some blissed-out funk band from the early ‘80s. Come to think of it, that kinda feels on brand.

With art for everyone,
Team 20x200