Odeta Xheka is an artist, writer, poet, and debuting picture book creator whose story parallels the highs and lows that countless women artists face, as they negotiate the demands to create and procreate - the clash of daily pressures of the family with the aspiration to make ambitious art.

* Note to Self

Making art can feel like an act of exposure. Don't allow yourself to be restraint by conventional expectations. But also remember that just because it is your own story, that doesn't entitle you to an audience. You have to earn that.

ART PROJECTs

THE POETICS OF THE BODY journeys into an imaginal space, pushing past the realm of experience. The resulting body of work, borrowing lines from the work of some of Xheka's favorite contemporary writers - Richard Sinken, Nina MacLaughlin, Cathy Park Hong, Jericho Brown, and Ocean Vuong - remains rooted in the desire to draw out emotions in art much to the tune of Mark Leckey, Cally Spooner, and Ed Atkins' dense, poetic texts in their videos and performances.

  • Visual Influences

Barbara Kruger

Raquel Van Haver


SPEAKING IN PINK METAPHORS operates within a closed system referring to a “world of infinite durability” much to the tune of Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin and become a venue for the outer world to meet the inner world (Edward 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 (Joseph Cornell)... all in the name of capturing the sort of emotional truth that feels like a metaphor.

  • Visual Influences

Color Painting

Meamorphism


DANGLING & DISROBING speaks to how stitches keep coming apart again and again. These are what one might call the heavy moments, these are the times when one catches a glimpse of the divergent structure of life behind the stitched up cuts, when instead of what we are used to, we see the exposed and defenseless state of female representation especially when it comes to the often subtle and coded role of images in creating new knowledge.

  • Visual Influences

Paul Cézanne

Louise Bourgeois


SENTIMENT is a series of digital, multi-faceted portraits, half hidden half emerging from layers of bold color - speaking of what it is like to be forced to learn the mechanism of vanishing under the pressure of large public forces and private action; the body of work speaks of the current societal shift in re-defining gender identity and the possibility of finding love that feels inclusive, fulfilling and free of loaded expectations by purposefully borrowing from an array of art techniques.


  • Visual Influences

Kim Leutwyler

Kim Jae Jun

DROWNING DEPTHS (HOME) reflects on who gets to be the subject of the story taking place at home, who matters behind the scene, and who our compassion and interest should be directed at as a matter of both personal and political will.

A series of over familiar scenes are made to appear slightly disorienting - the bedroom, bathtub, cabinet. hallway, chair, reading nook are all too easy to recognize yet, devoid of the human presence, they issue an invitation to think carefully about who inhabits these spaces. What does one understand with "life at home" and what are the various coping mechanisms involved? What role does one play?

  • Visual Influences

Agnes Martin

Louis Muhlstock

CHOREOGRAPHY OF DISAPPEARANCE creates a sense of intimacy that allows the viewers to get a good look at all the longings, deceptions, and fears; it questions the very fundamentals of identity both as a female artist and a woman. Modest and profound at the same time, the artist's face photographed from different angles somehow misses a sense of the physical in order to ask uncomfortable questions about different ways to represent the female essence in front of the camera.

  • Visual Influences

Gerhard Richter

Shadi Ghadirian Be Colourful


REMEMBRANCE wonders what it is like to be forced to learn the mechanism of vanishing under the pressure of large public forces and private action, to know how to unbind one's self from the illusion of acknowledgment and recognition, and yet, to hold on to one's own sense of authority especially as it pertains to women in the arts.

In a selection that is personal and fragmentary, it brings much-deserved attention to the work of sidelined female artists via a simple, effective, and thoroughly "female" visual language "floating" on Ukiyo-e sensibility and landing on highly textured collaged compositions.

  • Visual Influences

Utagawa Hiroshige

Barbara Shaw

TRIANGULAR is a highly textured collage captured in the style of Annegret Soltau's "overstitched and sewn" photographs for whom there is no separation between art, life, and women. Via cutting, ripping, pasting, overlaying different textures and materials, this multifaceted series speaks a hybrid language - remixed, re-contextualized, and wholly build from essential fragments of lived emotional reality.

Is this series synonymous with the kitsch of love and desire (in other words, the common use of the word “romantic”) or does it stand for an explicit critique of the kind of attitude that legitimizes the logic of material constraints and power struggles that hold the subject down?

  • Visual Influences

Annegret Soltau

Wangechi Mutu

THE TALES WE TELL is an on-going series of digital collages digging for visual clues that can unlock yet another layer of understanding in classic fairy tales such as The Emperor's New Clothes, The Princess and the Pea, Goldielocks and the Three Bears, The Little Mermaid, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and Cinderella.

  • Visual Influences

Dread & Delight: Fairy Tales in an Anxious World traveling exhibition

Conceptual Illustration

Picture Book

Books by Author Odeta Xheka
Best children's picture books of 2019: Here Comes Ingo is here!

Here Comes Ingo, one of the best children’s picture books of 2019, is a great example of the benefits of art in early childhood development. Here Comes Ingo is IndieReader Approved, is recognized by The National Parenting Center (Seal of Approval), is the winner of Creative Child Magazine Book of the Year (picture book category), and recipient of the Mom's Choice Gold Award.


This unique picture book encourages children to switch seats with the illustrator via painting, coloring, and drawing directly ON the page in order to tap into their creativity and let their imaginations soar. The book presents the multi-layered tale of Ingo, a scarlet macaw who drifts off to sleep while sitting on her eggs and dreams of flying into the lush tropical rainforest she calls home. While the storyline is intentionally loose, each illustration inspires a tale of its own, with the recurring opportunity to spot Ingo on each page amidst minute details unexpectedly colored in a Disney-like palette.


Learn how you can create quality time with your children through open-ended creative experiences and see for yourself why Here Comes Ingo is one of the best children’s picture books of 2019.

Selected Writing


Creative Non Fiction: Selfhood, Motherhood, The Creative Impulse


Language is power and protest, inclusion and exclusion. It communicates our deepest selves back to us, as if words were a shroud that give form to our inner world. Through language, we're allowed to bend time, jump forwads and backwards, circle back to our thoughts and memoreis picking and choosing the most meaningful to us.


Within a culture that likes things to be simple and pigeonholed, through my writing, I like to engage in complex conversations about the structure and meaning of emotional truth, while making sure to keep a firm eye on the very thin line that divides the sincerity of expression from sheer banality.


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