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
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."
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.