Madonna & Child

February 24, 2016

Kinda Khalidy’s paintings are naive, playful and jubilantly colourful. They remind me of Wassily Kandinsky’s Blue Rider period. My fondness for Kandinsky is less about his paintings and more about the personal memories attached to them. In our late teens, a group of us arrived tipsy on Diamond White to a school trip at the South Bank to see a Kandinsky/Wagner inspired performance art piece. Well –– yawn, yawn — we made such a raucous, that audience members (namely ones with chewing gum in their hair) complained to the school the next day. Our art history teacher was devastated, and when Kandinsky came up in the curriculum a few months later, we squirmed in our seats. All of us except Polly, that is. “I see the Madonna and child,” she proclaimed as “painting with red spot” appeared projected on the classroom wall. Maybe she really did see the Madonna, or maybe she was just taking the piss, but it’s all I can see now when I look at his paintings. After Polly died, the same group of friends who drank Diamond White down by the River Thames, gathered in NYC to celebrate her beautiful life. The minute we walked into the Neue Gallery and saw the Kandisnkys on the walls we regressed to the kind of silly school girl behaviour that only Polly could provoke in us. I’ll never own a Kandinsky, but it would be wonderful to own a Khalidy. I’ve got my sights on one with a giant red splodge.

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