Dubai: In recent years, Dubai has witnessed an art explosion of sorts. Fuelled by an eager multinational community’s relentless drive to stimulate a more diverse art scene, interest from professionals and novices alike has led to more galleries, creativity hubs and events, which serve to foster increased innovation across the home-grown arts environment.
For World Art Dubai from October 8 to 10 October, at the Dubai World Trade Centre, the region’s most accessible and affordable retail art fair and first major event of the season, participating artists share their thoughts on Dubai’s emergence as a creative hub – and where the emirate goes from here…
Uniting the art world
With more than 40 per cent of the 2020 show’s exhibitors travelling to the emirate from overseas, World Art Dubai has attracted a wealth of talent for its sixth outing. Whether the collected artists have travelled to the city before or not, and many artists and galleries are fair debutants this year, Dubai’s progressive culture and arts scene has made an impression.
“This is my first time in Dubai, and it is an exciting place; a city full of opportunities with a lot of cultures coming together, and a lot of different ideas, experiences and points of views. This also shows in the art, and the artistic expressions across the city,” said Mexican artist Leonardo Partida Prieto.
Russian resident Julia Smolenkova, who is displaying work at World Art Dubai for the third time told Gulf News, “Dubai is a unique place that connects modern achievements from all around the world, but still retains its originality. The openness, goodwill, and unbelievable capabilities of the city continue to attract art lovers from around the world. I really like the possibilities of professional development as an artist.”
India’s Prakash Garg, a first-time exhibitor, added: “The whole country is very accepting of different cultures, which has had an elevated impact on the art scene. The diversity in cultures ensures a variety in self-expression, art styles and techniques.”
When nurtured, creativity flourishes
Dubai’s art community continues to evolve its own style and spirit – and not just on artists’ studio canvases. Across the emirate, an eclectic mix of modern and traditional art bursts from building facades, adorns apparel and animates parking meters. Indeed, a new era of art forms is taking Dubai by storm. Harnessing this diversity and inclusivity, World Art Dubai will embrace a wide degree of artists and styles – from traditional art forms to modern-mixed media art and photography. This edition will also include Urban Art DXB following its launch in November 2019, with live graffiti artists and custom urban art experts at the show, as well as a digital art showcase with work from leading contemporary artists.
One of the fair’s artists who has mastered traditional art is Spain’s Jose Carlos Villarejo García, who is showcasing Guadameci art – a geometrical art form which can be traced back to the tenth century – at the show.
“Maintaining the original beauty, philosophy, luxury and refinement of the craft, I will showcase a selection of artworks inspired by Arab culture and the beauty of Islam at World Art Dubai,” he said.
Elsewhere, Smolenkova’s work portrays a multitude of cities’ inner life, expressed and captured by their unique light, colour, mood and emotions. “Thanks to exhibitions around the world, it is possible to connect cities to each other. Casablanca, Chefchaouen, Venice, Porto, Jaipur, Milan, Toledo, Moscow, and many other cities are coming to Dubai through art – for a city like Dubai, which is a true international capital, this is an apt motif.”
Art has no boundaries
As Dubai’s art scene continues to mature, so does its audience pool. With an abundance of price tags removing the barrier of accessibility, a wider swathe of the city’s population is tapping into a broad spectrum of art fairs to explore works by international artists and emerging, homegrown talent.
“The best way to take care of the soul is with the contemplation of a beautiful work of art. This is why affordable art is becoming increasingly important,” added Jose.
With its focus on promoting accessibility and affordability, World Art Dubai – much like its home city – is an inclusive platform for artists and art lovers to connect directly. As a result, some international exhibitors keep coming back, year after year.
“I keep returning to the show because World Art Dubai grants a wonderful opportunity for a dialogue between art lovers and artists. Accessibility and openness of the artistic space and the connection between the artist and the public are essential,” said Smolenkova.
World Art Dubai, the regions’ most accessible and affordable retail art fair, returns to Dubai World Trade Centre from October 8 to 10, 2020.
World Art Dubai has partnered with fynd.art to provide visitors with a contactless experience via their smartphone. By scanning an art piece with their mobile phone, visitors can explore information about artwork exhibited, artists and galleries.