Thursday, 9 January 2014

The Status of Art in Dubai

With its modern buildings and cosmopolitan air, Dubai is known as a contemporary, high tech emirate and few people associate this image with art. However, Dubai is home to several widely acclaimed artists and those who live there often have the possibility of going to galleries and shows. In fact, an artistic air can be felt in the entire area: from the awe-inspiring skyscrapers designed by some of the most renowned architects in the world, to the interesting film and music festivals, Dubai itself has been called a work of art many times. For this article, we will focus on the growing influence and popularity of visual arts such as painting, photography and prints.
Many galleries are in operation with frequent openings. For example, the emirate is home to Carbon 12 Dubai, an internationally recognized gallery. It was established in 2008, as the first gallery in the region to initiate a comprehensive, firmly global, program of institution-grade artists. Some of the artists that are featured during this event are Rui Chafes, Andre Butzer, Katherine Bernhardt, Birgit Graschopf, Philip Mueller and Ralf Ziervogel.
The exhibitions on Alserkal Avenue District are very popular and they have been featured in various regional and international art magazines. Alserkal is doubling in size by the end of 2014 adding more space and strength to its relevance. Another key Art Fair is Art Dubai, located in Madinat Jumeirah, which hosts galleries from more than 30 countries. It is recognized as the most important Art Fair in the Middle East. Also, the SIKKA Art Fair in traditional Dubai, Al Bastakiya area was established in 2011 and aims to promote young, and establishing contemporary artists. Another place of interest for art and culture enthusiasts is Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde representing some of the most important regional artists.
Due to the fact that Dubai is a very popular tourist attraction and transit hub, the audience for the above mentioned galleries comprises thousands of foreigners who are interested in following the evolution of the local art scene. However, the emirate seems to place bigger emphasis on its global artistic status, so there is considerable online promotion of these events too. Also, with the Expo 2020 coming, Dubai has engaged itself into establishing its self as a world leader in creativity, innovation and online connectivity. Those who cannot get to Dubai to see the galleries can see an art gallery online and appreciate the most notable works. Even more, enthusiasts and art lovers no longer have to go to the seller in person if they want to purchase a painting or a photograph, because they can order everything online.
It goes without saying that the transition towards online accessibility is regulated by quality standards. Those who purchase art online also get a certificate of authenticity and can choose from multiple framing options. Although paintings are still extremely popular, clients are beginning to show a growing interest in the artistic value of contemporary photography. Some of them are art collectors, but there are also individual clients who need modern photographs for their home decoration or as corporate centerpieces. Even if Dubai is less known for its art up to now, the emirate is rapidly establishing into a creative hub and becoming a landmark for arts. In conclusion, those who love paintings, photography and art prints and would like to find out how vibrant Dubai has contributed to the regional and global art scene can visit the most important galleries in that area or they can see them online, where some of them can also be purchased.

By Groshan Fabiola

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