Saturday, August 16, 2008

Cover it with beads and glitter

I was born in war.

Everything around me now is war.

War has always been.

I cannot remember a time when there was no war.

-Zena el Khalil

From the Kalashin' Series (A Test Run for Something Bigger To Come)Mixed media on wood and foam. each gun 100 x 50 cm. 2008

There is a side of me that scoffs at non-high art materials such as glitter, plastic beads, fake flowers, and doilies. "Oh this isn't real art," the critic in me says. But let's face it. I love and am drawn to these materials precisely because of their kitschy Easter Sunday dollar store quality. And when they say something that makes sense to me, I laugh loudly, cackle really, in a healing kind of way.

These mixed media pieces by Zena el Khalil make me even happier because they get at some of my raw unsanitized reactions to gender, politics and war.

"If men had no one watching them kill, they would stop just like little children do when no one reacts to their acting up."

"If only men would show their emotions."

"Its all about who has bigger balls."

"Women are stuck in their little Barbie doll outfits being virginal and nice wearing tight clothes, bikinis, and high heels."

Men, Men, Men... Mixed media on wood. 25 x 25 cm. 2007

And The Girls Watch On... Mixed media on wood. 25 x 25 cm. 2007

I also like what I perceive as Zena el Khalil's vindication for my own creative obsessing:

In the beginning I was creating so that people would remember. But now, I have to be honest with myself; I am caught up in existential unrest and I find myself creating these images and forms because I cannot physically do anything else. It is no longer about right and wrong. It is not an intellectual debate. It is a creative offering I make to help maintain balance and order in the world around me.

Laugh a loud annoying laugh that cuts through stagnancy, both yours and others, shattering like glass.



~summer~ said...

Thanks for sharing the work of this artist! I hadn't heard of her or seen her work. Definitely poignant.

You made me laugh out loud with your glitter love confessional!

glued blue glass said...

Thanks, Summer!
I tried to leave a comment on your blog but for some reason it wouldn't work.

elisa said...

You know I'm already on the glitter side :) Great post and to me it feels like making art is the only right thing I can do.
You've asked for a better photo of my laminated work, you'll have to wait for that for a long while, it needs more work and a better place for that.
Shine with joy!xxx

glued blue glass said...

Yes, I thought of you when I posted this. We have glitter and a love for Annette Messager's work in common. I guess I'll have to wait :( I just hope that my new house can have the same colorful energy yours has.

Anonymous said...

I think this artist needs to grow up, if all she can come up with are these ridiculous and insulting stereotypes. Why repeat them in your blog? Don't stand for them. Don't even work with them--it's a waste of time. You can do better.


glued blue glass said...

Yes, they certainly are stereotypes. While I agree that her work may not be of the finest quality and therefore not MOMA quality, I like them. Why? Just because she is willing to make them- stereotypes and all. Most of us live with stereotypes, we just don't acknowledge them. I named a few of my stereotypes in this post. And as she said, she has to make them no matter what. So many of us get bogged down in making the perfect piece and don't just make. Just sending the creative energy into the world is important.