Last week I had a chance to attend Syrian born Artist, Khaled Khadour’s opening exhibit at the African American Arts & Culture Complex in San Francisco. I first met Khaled in NYC during Fall Fashion week in February of this year, and the first thing I noticed was his infectious smile and his jovial attitude. It wasn’t until I actually viewed his paintings, and spoke to him about his motivation to paint these portraits, that I realized that he was channeling the human condition from somewhere deep inside, and for such a young man, has a message to spread to his fellow human beings, that we all have a right to happiness, and no one is better than anyone else. I had a chance to interview Khaled, so check out the video interview below to find out what inspired his current exhibit.
During Khaled’s opening presentation, one of the audience members asked him about his use of red in many of his paintings, and his immediate answer was, “red is my favorite color”, everyone busted out in laughter as they observed the crimson red silk ascot scarf around his neck…..Khaled paused for a moment, and then began laughing along as he realized he was displaying his passion for the color as if it were part of his being. He said “it’s a color that attracts people and it is violent, and yet it’s beautiful all at the same time.” He went on to say how even when he sets out to paint without using the color red, it somehow seems to make it’s way onto his work, and at the very least is always the color he uses to sign his paintings.
Khaled’s exhibit is rightfully named “the human emotion” and each painting is a call out for our empathy, connection and compassion for our fellow human being whether they are across the globe, or merely sitting across from us on the subway or train. Almost all of his paintings start with the eyes and then branch out into communicating through the subject’s body. Khaled also uses various religious symbols within his paintings, which he explained communicates mankind’s need for some kind of universal belief system.
I think everyone who attended the opening was struck with Khaled’s mastery of portraying the human experience from Syria, to Africa to New York. The exhibit will be running until April 20th, so I encourage you to check out this extremely talented artist’s collection at the African America Art & Culture Complex in San Francisco. You can find out more about Khaled’s upcoming exhibits and his work at www.KhaledKhadour.com