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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 26 February 2021

Top 10 attractions at World Art Dubai

Big names

The American musician Moby and Julian Lennon, the son of former Beatle John, will have work on sale. They are both accomplished photographers represented by New York City’s Emmanuel Fremin Gallery.

Lennon’s prints of photographs taken during his travels through Kenya and Ethiopia, from his Horizons collection, capture a wide variety of images of indigenous cultures.

Moby will present photographs from his Innocents series, shot in natural and artificial environments and featuring a variety of hybrid human-animal characters, draped in white fabrics and wearing skulls or animal masks.

The fair also offers the chance to buy limited-edition prints from David LaChapelle, one of the world’s most famous photographers. They will be on sale at Belgium’s Vogelsang Art Gallery.

Villa del Arte Galleries

This gallery, which has branches in Barcelona and Amsterdam, will be exhibiting the hyper­photography works of Jean-François Rauzier and the iron structures of Lukas Ulmi.

Rauzier, a French artist, invented the hyperreality process by fusing a 180-degree panoramic image and an ultra-close-up zoom in the same image. His goal: to point out what escapes the eye. Ulmi, from Spain, constructs seemingly static forms from iron that have poetic and delicate aesthetics.

Limited collections

Dubai Gallery Gulf Photo Plus is showcasing its limited-edition collection, meaning top-quality photography will be on offer.

“I think it’s great to have diversity with art fairs, and an affordable art fair paves the way for a lot of people who have not had access or exposure to buying art before,” says Mohamed Somji, the co-owner of the gallery. “Dubai’s art scene, albeit flourishing, still reaches a very limited number of the city’s population, and a fair such as this can help extend the reach of art in a variety of forms, which can only be a good thing.”

Korean art

With nine out of the 24 international galleries participating at the fair coming from Korea, this will be an excellent opportunity to gain an insight into art from the country, which has been making increasingly prominent appearances at global art fairs in recent years.

Zoom Gallery, which focuses on pop artists, will be showing works from The Precious ­Message series by Kim Si Hyun, while Jade Flower Gallery will exhibit the kitschy work of the relatively unknown artist Yang Okkyung.

Unsigned artists

Almost half of the booths at World Art Dubai will be dedicated to artists rather than galleries, allowing visitors to learn about genuinely emerging talent and experience the art scene away from the established gallery spaces.

Discover Erwin Jose Viado, a UAE-based artist who poses questions about various aspects of culture, society, individualism and freedom of expression, all while holding down a day job as a sales manager at an advertising agency. Or Mariam Al Zaabi, an Emirati artist and illustrator who draws her inspiration from music, fashion, comic books and graphic novels. All artists submitted portfolios to the World Art Dubai team, who then made their choices based on talent, experience and saleability.

Online galleries

The Dubai-based online gallery Kobo Art will have a space presenting the work of 18 artists and more than 40 paintings and sculptures.

“World Art Dubai is a very important initiative and milestone for art in Dubai and the UAE, as I believe it will provide a much-needed boost for smaller and newer galleries that are committed to working with early- to mid-career artists,” says Shan Fazelbhoy, the founder. “For small businesses in the field of art this is a really exciting event.”

Emergeast, another online ­gallery, which launched last year from Dubai, is presenting five young artists whose work is specifically aimed at young ­collectors.

Sasan Saidi

This Berlin-based artist will collaborate with Red Bull on the outdoor urban-art Al Muka3ab project. He will paint an 8-metre-by-10-metre cube-shaped canvas, turning it into an art installation.

The artist says the piece is intended to illuminate the increasingly transparent nature of modern life, how our lives are on show “like fish inside an aquarium”. The cube will also double as a pop-up cinema, screening nightly art-house short films and music documentaries.

The talks

World Art Dubai will host a programme of workshops and seminars, including drawing classes by Drawdeck, and professional photography sessions from Wouter Kingma. In one talk, the Dubai-based street artist Steffi Bow will discuss the role of graffiti as a credible art form. Nikki Meftah of Emergeast will host a session advising collectors and first-time buyers looking to start their own art collections.

Interactive art

Modelled on a painting called Diversity by Siddiqa Juma, which was displayed in Dubai during Ramadan last year, Make Your Mark is a touring artistic initiative by the London-based Ahlan Art gallery.

Members of the public will be invited to paint a small brush stroke in a circular fashion around the centre, symbolising the circular movement of people around the real Kaaba in Mecca.

Juma has been to venues in London, including the House of Lords and King’s College, and continues to tour the globe.

Lego art

Sayeh Sarfaraz, an Iranian artist from Albareh Gallery in Bahrain, will be displaying part of her series Au Pays des Mollahs (Mollah’s Land), which features an installation of Lego pieces.

• World Art Dubai is at the city’s World Trade Centre from Sunday, April 8 to April 11. For more ­information, visit

Published: March 31, 2015 04:00 AM

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