Saturday, 5 July 2014

Happy UAE Art Holiday

Who says the art season starts only later during the year? 

Everywhere I have been recently, there is an art exhibition… or a visiting artist doing a solo… or some demo… workshop… or talk… all around the art!

I guess Christie's decision to move its Hong Kong headquarters of Asia activities to Dubai… has had some serious after effects [even though the auction doors of its DIFC branch is closed for most of the year]. May be they chose Dubai for its cheaper rentals [in comparison to HK] and tax-free advantages etc but we Dubaiites, especially in the art segment are excited for those alone.

What's on today?

Did you know there is an 'Emirati artists wall' in Dubai? Today Fatma Lootah, UAE-born, widely recognised artist is going to do some magic here at 6pm. The venue is Fann -À-Porter gallery in Kempinski Mall of the Emirates lobby. 

The live panting coincides with the opening of an exhibition here by French artist Eric Peyret's Dubai landscapes. 

This painting of Dubai Marina by Eric Peyret was getting ready to be hung when I visited the gallery yesterday.

As you read the article… this work below would have come off display at Fann-A-Porter gallery. They are by Syrian artists Aboud Salman.

Love those bags...

The leather handbags/clutches on display here are designed by Jordanian Artist Ghada Kunash [who also owns the gallery]. The bags are art statement pieces priced Dh1000+. Each bag is limited art prints in other words… as they are prints of original art displayed here. There are only 50 numbers of each design and they are made in Italy.

If you wish to stop by this gallery… it is right next to Salero Tapas & Bodega. [Non-art-related Trivia: "The Kitchen Hero of the Year 2014 was awarded to Tarun Dogra from Salero Tapas & Bodega at Kempinski Dubai, Mall of the Emirates." - Hotelier Middle East. Wondering what chef Tarun plates best… will try some !]

The gallery has a busy schedule with artists booked to show until 2015!!

Golden books in Abu Dhabi

That was Dubai… and in Abu Dhabi's Art Hub Chadi Salama, a book maker, design professor and artist from Egypt has a unique display.

Chadi Salama, a bookmaker from Egypt, in residency at Abu Dhabi.

Chadi wants people to realise old is gold… literally. He uses 24 carat gold on old books to tell the significant of knowledge and the role of books in bringing them to us.

Chadi shares his art works among a chosen list of contemporary artists from Philippines, also in residency at the Abu Dhabi Art Hub, celebrating an art month here.

Precious Indian art

I also happened to come across this rare print of MF Husain at Ductac few weeks back.

MF Hussain rare print for Dh6000 with his own pencil signature on it

The exhibition also had other contemporary Indian art. I particularly liked this work titled Draupadi by Anjlie Vellody… from her series 'Monkey in the Mind.' 

Draupadi by Anjlie Vellody

Another flawless dry paste work that caught my eye this season was little-kown Saurin Vast's work Hunter also on display at Ductac previously, as a part of an event by Delhi-based De Art who brought 80 artworks to the UAE and showed them at various venues here.

Saurin Vast's Hunter in Soft Pastels

Ramadan Art

Yet to got to the Ramadan Art Bazaars in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. I have previously participated in Abu Dhabi's Ramadan Art Bazaar curated by artist and designer Sumayyah Al Suwaidi. It is on from the July 4… and on until the July 29, 2014. Jalal Luqman, Mattar Bin Lahej, Khalil Abdulwahid, Liz Ramos Prado, Khouloud Sinno, Michael Bernal, Fahima Fattah are amongst the artists featured this year.

So it may be a slow Ramadan for most in the country… but its a busy Art month… the saved hours during this festival can be best utilised at UAE galleries is what I reckon. They are good places to spend time in inner reflection…and/or take home original art. 

Happy art holidays! Ramadan Kareem!

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