Khalil Bendib

The Gilded Serpent presents...

Khalil Bendib

Perhaps the most visible Arab fine artist working today in the USA, as well as a widely circulated editorial cartoonist, Khalil Bendib is a resident of Berkeley, California who grew up in Morocco and Algeria and came to California at age 20 after receiving his Bachelor's degree in Algiers. He was born a war refugee during Algeria's national struggle for liberation against France, and was indelibly affected by that experience.

After earning his Master's at the University of Southern California in 1982, Khalil proceeded to become both political cartoonist and professional sculptor and ceramicist. In 1987, he was hired as editorial cartoonist by the Gannett Newspapers, at the San Bernardino Sun, a position he later resigned to become an independent artist.

In 1994, Khalil Bendib completed his first public monument in Southern California, the "Alex Odeh Memorial Statue," an over-life size bronze at the Orange County's seat of government in Santa Ana honoring the Palestinian-American regional director of Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee who was assassinated in his Santa Ana office in 1985, and followed that with "Ode To Diamond Bar," a nine-foot leaping bronze cougar at the Summit Ridge public park in Diamond Bar, a suburb of Los Angeles. In 2002-2003, he also sculpted four large public bronze figures for the GAIA Building in downtown Berkeley.

He's also the author of the "Deir Yassin Remembered" memorial sculpture, which was dedicated September 24, 2003 at the Hobart and William Smith colleges, in Geneva, New York, on the edge of beautiful Seneca Lake. Deir Yassin commemorates the tragic massacre of a Palestinian village in 1948.

He was also recently commissioned by the Arab Cultural Center and the City of San Francisco to design a 40 feet by 40 feet public mural in Downtown San Francisco, in collaboration with two other artists, and was artist-in-residence at the Legion of Honor Museum of Art in San Francisco from August to November 2002.

Khalil's sculptures, ceramics and cartoons have been exhibited on three continents - in the United States, Europe, as well as in his native North Africa - and his artworks grace numerous businesses, homes and gardens in America. Some of his work can be viewed at

His recent book of editorial cartoons, "It Became Necessary to Destroy the Planet in Order to Save it" can be viewed and ordered at

Khalil is proud of his Arabic and Maghrebi heritage and finds that his work couldn't have come about as it has without the inspiration it draws from the long, rich tradition that preceded him.

Articles on Gilded Serpent by or about Khalil Bendib

  • The Danish Caricatures Controversy:
    Try as I may, while reviewing the infamous Islam-o-phobic Danish caricatures, I fail to discern in them any clear political statement other than the questionable assertion that Islam equals terrorism.