World Art Dubai has been created to bring regional and global artists to Dubai’s International community. There are over 200 nationalities living in Dubai and this exhibition caters to most of them. Entry is free and the general public, wholesalers and galleries are all welcome.
Emphasis this year was on accessibility and affordability with an area designated to pieces under 5,000 dirhams (approx. US $1,360). Included were classically trained, street and performance artists. Celebrity art from Samuel L Jackson, George Clooney, David Bowie and Pharrell Williams were featured in a “Whatever it Takes” global campaign with themes of peace, hope and the future. A “Peace and Hope” wall, erected as a mural, saw visitors adding their designs next to Katy Perry’s or Charlize Theron’s.
The Red Bull Cube: Al Muka3ab, in the courtyard, began as an 8m x 10m white canvas cube transformed into an art installation over the 4 day event by Sasan Saidi. Inside the cube, documentaries screened free showcasing visual art, film and music. Next door, rappers took to the deck showing incredible skill and fitness while the rest of us indulged in some great eats from the food trucks on site.
The Library was a comfortable space to review available books and magazines . In the Art Room interactive workshops inspired budding artists and gallery owners advised on purchasing your first piece or becoming a collector. Photography, calligraphy, sculpture and street art all had a place on the schedule.
Some stand out work for me included Syed Thajudeen (Malaysia) who brings stories to life. The myriad of colours on his murals draw you in then the detail and perceived movement keep you there.
The depth and texture of French artist Françoise Nielly‘s work is lost in my pics below but her explosive colour pallet is obvious. She has explored painting, photography, illustrations and computer graphics to settle on oil and knife as her weapons of choice.
This mixed media piece by Kim So-hae (Korea) uses collected beach shells for the mosaic bowl. Tiny shards of shell transform colour as they capture the light. Gallery Row in Korea represent Kim So-hae. Leave a comment below for an English speaking contact.
From India, Alpana Vij creates landscapes by building up layers of paint then scraping them away to reveal what lies beneath. Using painting to create a visual diary, her body of work consists of far more than landscapes.
Marco Marcelo Polo Villalva is an Ecuadorian based in Oman. He works with Omani marble to create striking sculptures leaving the energy of the stone to direct his work.
For more on World Art Dubai, check out the exhibitors on the website and come next year. Leave a comment and I’m happy to follow up dates when they are confirmed.
Finding an inspiring surprise like World Art Dubai on our doorstep: that’s a thing we love….