Interviewer Kia: I loved looking at the art from your exhibition! Would you mind explaining the themes you had in mind when putting together the show?
K: Are there any messages that you want viewers to take away from your show and art?
K: What is the motivation behind this specific message?
As for "American Enough", this piece has a story. I was on the train with one of my close friends who wears the hijab. Two men got on and started to just stare at her. Soon after they were yelling things like: “Go back to your country”; “Take off that rag“; “Burn in hell“; “They shouldn’t let scum like you come into my country“; “People like you need to go back home.” As we left the train we turned to them and said: “This is our country just as much as it is yours. Our religion should not make us any less American." That night I went home and painted a portrait of her titled "American Enough?" I put the word “label” across her eyes. I then drew her heart with words reading “made me bleed red white and blue.”
RS: With most of my work there is always a personal connection. When I paint I am usually happy or frustrated. I started painting because I felt like no one was listening to me and no one cared. I wanted someone to just listen before they rejected my opinion. If I put what I felt in a painting, it would be harder for people to ignore. We can talk over each other's opinion but we find it harder to ignore them when they are put in front of us.
Kia DaSilva - Intern at Al-Bustan