Iam thrilled by the idea of beauty; by the artist’s quest to reach or to create the beautiful. I am in awe with beauty but I am likewise in awe with the irony of beauty... which speaks to the fact that in my work I have often had to defend the somewhat strong “aesthetic quality” of my art. In other words, when faced with the omnipresent act of balancing social relevancy and artistic sensibility, I have opted to stay true to my vision and produce work that presents an honest picture of how my understanding of beauty is influenced by artists whose work and artistic credo I admire. My work builds on the importance of balancing nuanced coloring (Matisse) and strong materiality (Jay DeFeo). It operates within a closed system referring to a “world of infinite durability” (Chardin) and becomes a venue for the outer world to meet the inner world (Hopper) in order to get to a place where all parts are equally artificial and thus equally open to the slightest breath of poetic association (Cornell).
In Kjartansson’s words (whose take on beauty as a form of subversion I particularly espouse), the artwork becomes the stage upon which the ancient instinct of the hunter-gatherer takes over and colors, textures, surfaces, and memories grab the viewer's brain and tug to her heart strings with a sense of intense participation into fellow feeling.
In this sense, my work is really a political stand from a nihilistic point of view: by making beautiful images at least it opens itself up to a certain set of critical criteria instead of relying on noises about pretense at social redemption as a way of avoiding criticism on artistic grounds.
If my task as an artist is not to capture emotional truth and create beauty, what is the point of being an artist?
The rest is politics and theater.
Odeta Xheka, artist
Odeta Xheka Visuals