New America

"New America", Acrylic on canvas, 100x100cm, 2017

"New America", Acrylic on canvas, 100x100cm, 2017

I have put together familiar elements such as the American flag and famous faces, and created something that I have a particular meaning behind. This painting is inspired by the recent impulses in our world. Its a visualization of my social media infected thoughts.

Thoughts about the American presidential election, multiculturalism, islamophobia and womens position. The painting shows two of the world most famous couple, that I have been exposed to continuously on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are being looked up to as royalty and as a symbol of what it is to be a wealthy independent man and woman. I have always wondered why Kim Kardashian seems to be this ideal figure of a woman in social media, and that through the photos of her walking in high heels, almost naked and with her head held high, we get the feeling that she is somehow superior.

I can’t help but wondering what we would think about a woman of her position, in an hijab, walking besides her husband. Would she still be that independent and strong woman? Would they still be a power couple? I felt the urge to paint Kim Kardashian with a hijab to experiment with our perception of women. There are many misconceptions about women wearing hijab, and a lot are about being oppressed. Could we ever accept a free, strong and powerful woman wearing hijab, or are the possibilities of that measured by the amount of skin she shows.

In relation to this topic, we have witnessed a change in America. Trump became president og Kanye West announced that he will run for president in 2020. It seems like a lot can be possible these days, but with the anti-racial/religious/cultural climate it also seems like nothing is possible. Could you ever imagine a first lady wearing a hijab?

These are all questions I have thought about and would like for people to reflect on when they see this painting. Even though I am not American or even live in America, I feel the impact of America everywhere. What concerns America, concerns us all. This is a painting full of questions about and criticism of the world we live in today.

- Amina Sahan