Artist Kindah Khalidy Takes Her Color Palettes from Old Ladies’ Outfits and Buffed Graffiti
Vibrant, abstract symbols cover the surfaces on which San Franciscan artist Kindah Khalidy works. Although their meaning isn’t objectively discernible, they are undeniably cheery and upbeat. Khalidy paints on almost any blank canvas: clothes, walls, wrapping paper, furniture. Her optimistic, pop-art palette plays off the starkness of its backdrop.
One of the adorable faces of our Anniversary Sale, we caught up with Khalidy to chat about her charming art, her style and her shopping habits.
What do you love about Nordstrom’s “One-of-a-Kind” Anniversary Sale? Why is it a great time to shop?
It’s a fun time to finally grab those items I’ve been eyeing for a while. We’re pretty lucky with Bay Area weather in the sense that you can wear clothes for all seasons, year round. Cue the sweaters.
What do you usually shop during the sale?
As I get older, I’m more drawn to staple items for easy dressing. I’m always on the hunt for good shoes!
Which artists have most inspired you?
I really love the work of Francis Bacon and Hans Hofmann.
You’re also really inspired by music. Who are you listening to now when you paint?
Lately, it’s been a mix of Paul Simon, [the] Drive soundtrack, Kendrick Lamar and D.R.A.M.
Your paintings are very colorful. How do you invent and combine your palettes?
I LOVE color combinations, and choosing a palette never fails to feel exciting to me. I’m really inspired by the ensembles of old ladies—they’re often really bold in their outfits. My other main inspiration would be buffed graffiti around the city; it turns into art in itself, and it’s something that I love to document.
What is your favorite color to wear?
Fluorescent peach. Mostly, I’m caught wearing white tees and black jeans.
Do you have a favorite item of clothing?
Yes! It’s a buttery ACNE Studios leather jacket with a removable collar. It has so many pockets; I can never have enough pockets.
You create textiles for accessories like clutches and clothes. What makes a print wearable?
I like being able to create options for people to wear and expand upon how they can express themselves with prints. With my fine art paintings, they’re meant to be looked at for a long time and slowly taken in. With wearable prints, the message has got to get through quicker. I hope that even if one of my prints is seen on the street for 5 seconds, that it sparks the imagination in some way. I spend a lot of time thinking about how the patterns will interact with the person wearing or holding them.
What are you working on now?
A really big mural.