Love Letter to Kindah Khalidy

A colossal mass of brushstroke and shape, movement, color and sound. Squiggles and curves and blobs and clusters of dots and shapes of almost things crowd this white canvas.
Kindah Khalidy, Untitled (b), 2020. 20 x 30 inches. Photo courtesy of the artist.

When the pandemic began, I turned to art. Even though I hadn’t painted or drawn in years, I went out to buy a sketchbook and watercolor pens. Aside from groceries, this was my “panic buy.” And it was a good investment. Over the next few months, I would draw highly pigmented lines and patterns on crisp white paper, and it was the most calming exercise I had.

Kindah Khalidy’s art is like that: intuitive and nurturing. Khalidy creates in a variety of mediums: paintings, installations, and textiles, but it’s her paintings that affect me the most. They celebrate weird, whimsical forms, or blobs, as Khalidy calls them. With seemingly little rhyme or reason to the blobs’ shapes, sizes, or colors, the blobs are full of curves and movement. Khalidy then layers her compositions on canvases of all sizes, effectively creating a large collage of movement itself. 

Khalidy’s art is bold. It takes up space. White canvas embraces the bright hues. Her color palettes are inspired by chance, like the velour tracksuit of a woman walking by, or the packaging of a cream cheese container. Her shapes come organically—she does not plan the structure in advance. She paints it as she feels it. 

That’s the art I needed this past year. I needed the playful pigments, the clashing hues, the organic movement. When the world ground to a halt, I needed color, and I needed fluidity. That’s what I found in Khalidy’s work.


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