“I like kitsch.”
Blend contradictions. Change proportions. Shake conventions. Kelly Dabbah’s aesthetic is made of worlds that joyfully collide and clash to better give rise to new harmonies. Where nature meets the city, and sweet roses grow alongside illegal substances and tigers, the Swiss-born and New York based Visual Artist creates a new sense of graphic balance.
Maximalist, sensual and resolutely overwhelming, her colorful and quirky collages of digital images and fine art have everything to do with her extrovert middle-eastern roots. Moreover, she proudly claims it: “I like kitsch.”
Exclusivity that rocks
With her multiple and prestigious degrees – major in fashion design at Parsons School of Design, gemology in New York and business management in Lausanne, the 27-year-old can not be cornered into a traditional one-dimensional profile. Dabbah may design a clothing line and paint on denim and leather jackets, but she would never call herself a fashion designer; everything she does may add a bold accent to home décor, but, her art is like her customized skateboards: it’s ready to roll off the walls of an art gallery to rage through the streets.
From large-scale art installations to small objects, her digital multimedia patterns are created to be set free, ready to translate into “things”—from a chair to an entire booth, or from an iPhone case to a pillow or a mug. Trained at Chanel and Anna Sui, this agent provocateur is only interested in exclusivity that rocks, but that’s about all she can say about her marketing strategy – if any.
Behind Dabbah’s piercing black eyes, a creative fire is burning since as long as she can remember. An urge to draw and create that is ignited by all the women who inspire her – from the explosive and colorful Frida Kahlo, to the soulful voices of Amy Winehouse, Lauryn Hill or Erykah Badu.
Above all, Dabbah’s creations always celebrate her personal muses: her own mother and three sisters. It is thanks to these strong women that the faces and female bodies that inhabit her creations are so sensual and bold. Hot-blooded. Just like Kelly Dabbah’s art.