From UAE-based galleries to up-and-coming international artists, this year’s edition of the Middle East’s most affordable art fair is a melting pot of cultural talent
Calling all art aficionados! World Art Dubai is returning to Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) this April, uniting a collection of more than 4,000 of the most vibrant and dynamic paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs from over 300 individual artists and galleries from five different continents.
As the region’s most unique curated and affordable art fair, World Art Dubai embraces an eclectic array of different cultures, artistic styles and, most importantly, budgets, with artwork prices ranging from USD 100 to USD 20,000 (approximately AED 350 to AED 74,000). Plus, as an integral part of Dubai Art Season, the event serves as a unique haven for the UAE’s passionate art lovers, corporate buyers, private collectors, architects, interior designers and VIPs alike.
An event for the whole family that fuses art, education and entertainment, this year’s World Art Dubai roster comprises a wide spectrum of talent, from popular UAE and international art galleries to solo artists from all corners of the globe, catering to both new and seasoned art collectors alike.
Ahead of the fourth World Art Dubai, the show’s seasoned curators, Zaahirah Muthy, Stephanie Neville and Atul Panse, have hand-picked eight artists and galleries to see this year.
An ever-evolving artist living in Dubai, look out for a collection of paintings that combine Alexandra’s knowledge of crystal and gemstone properties combined with bold use of geometry and colour.
A popular Dubai-based artist who believes her artwork can uplift the soul, Alexandra’s most recent masterpieces are an eclectic mish-mash of bold hues and prints. Alexandra’s unmistakably abstract style utilises a range of acrylic, oil and mixed inks, and results in canvasses that are saturated in colour and would take pride of place in the most vibrant of homes at average prices of between $5,000 – $6,000.
Arame Art Gallery
Hailing from Beirut and dedicated to Armenian art, Arame Art Gallery has been around since 2003, and currently collaborates with over 40 painters and sculptors from the Eurasian country.
Representing seven Armenian masters at World Art Dubai, this Beirut-based art gallery aims to raise regional awareness of the country’s buzzing art scene. With works of art averaging around $7,000, the canvases of Avetis Khachatrian are inspired by Armenian fairytales and peaceful village life, so expect quirky figurative paintings that make for the perfect conversation starter, while Tigran Matulian takes us into the colourful Oriental dreams of his imagination. Expect this and much, much more.
A yogi by trade, Himalayan master Bharat Thakur has been painting since the young age of 17, with his artworks famous for creating ripples in the artistic community.
Part artist, full-time yoga guru, you can’t help but wonder how a man with thousands of spiritual followers around the world finds times for a canvas calling. Famous for never using a paintbrush, palette or easel, but instead his fingers, Bharat’s work includes everything from experimentation art to figurative, pop-ups, abstracts and portraits. Snap up his legendary pieces of art for between $5,500 and $20,000.
Create Hub Gallery
A Dubai-based gallery promoting contemporary African art, Create Hub Gallery hosts a number of dynamic exhibitions throughout the city. Expect the vibrant African atmosphere to shine through in intense colour notes and more relaxed monochrome works.
A World Art Dubai participant since the inaugural fair in 2015, the Create Hub Gallery is ‘Walking the Line’ in its theme this year. Featuring works by five unique artists, peruse work from emerging African artists, this year inspiration is derived from everything including the human body, human tendencies African culture and more, with prices ranging between $500-$3,000.
While she’s been interested in art since she was a child, Kristel recently started experimenting with digital art, and her works combine her love of fashion, graphic design and canvas paintings equivalent to regional Banksy.
Ahead of Kristel’s first year at World Art Dubai, the Dubai-based artist has caused quite the stir among the UAE art scene with her latest collection, ‘Beauty in Diversity’. Bringing 25 limited edition works covering topics including portraits, ballerinas and superheroes, her paintings have a pop-art feel priced between just $500 to $1,000. For a real wow-moment, be sure to check out the trio of pieces from her ‘Three Wise Women’ collection that depict the age-old maxim ‘see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ and are sure to generate serious interest from Dubai’s culture vultures.
White Space Gallery
More than just a gallery, White Space teaches drawing, art, calligraphy and more to Beirut’s population of art lovers. Expect a whole range of artworks at this year’s event, with something to suit all tastes and budgets.
Comprising a collection of artworks spanning different cultures and backgrounds, this Lebanon-based gallery houses everything from traditional, classic paintings to modern, contemporary pieces. One name to look out for is Oussayma Dimashkieh – Inspired by painter and sculptor Amadeo Modigliani and Lebanese artists Hassan Jouni and Jamil Malaab, Dimashkieh is a name and investment opportunity to watch in coming years.
A British artist bringing the wonder of Dubai to life, this time around Jeff Murray has turned his attention to our beautiful city, meticulously drawn like few people can do.
A World Art Dubai stalwart, Murray is bringing both original ($7,000-$30,000) and limited-edition canvas prints ($600 – $3,000) this year, with a focus on ‘The City of the Middle East’. Think drawings that encapsulate the dynamic vision of the UAE, from the highest structures known to man, to the oldest of the Ancient Wonders, the British-born artist takes inspiration from his explorations around the world, with his work, encapsulating individual cities, countries, continents, architecture and landscapes.
A champion of Lebanese art, Leila uses art to portray the injustice that much of humanity faces in today’s world. With five Lebanese artists on show, there’s everything from watercolours and acrylics to abstract art that’s easy on the eye.
Representing five Lebanese artists at this year’s exhibition, Leila has exhibited at over 50 collective and solo international art shows, with a strong focus on humanity. Her artworks range between $1,600 and $5,000, theming them around the topics of discrimination, prejudice, injustice, poverty and inequality, making use of dominant colours for paintings that are as powerful as they are beautiful. Be sure to check out her painting ‘Injustice to Humanity’ at this year’s show.
“When selecting an artist, we look at the technical side of the artwork as well as the concept to ensure it doesn’t create any disturbance to the culture,” says Zaahirah Mathy who is returning to World Art Dubai as a curator for the 3rd year in a row.
“Our annual sale is a cornerstone of Dubai Art Season and we’ve seen considerable maturity in both the artworks featured by local trailblazers and international artists, as well as the tastes of our collectors and individual buyers who have an eye for art that is both beautiful and rare. Dubai’s growing appreciation of a thriving cultural scene is something that excites me very much.”
“This year’s World Art Dubai boasts the biggest curated selection of authentic paintings, prints, sculptures and photographs that World Art Dubai has ever seen, and with further growth expected in years to come, we expect both artists and collectors to see their prospects sky-rocket,” adds curator, Atul Panse. “We have witnessed a steadily-growing increase for demand of quality art in the Middle East. World Art Dubai allows collectors to tick this box without breaking the bank because it offers a uniqueness that’s not found anywhere else in the region.”
World Art Dubai 2018 is open from 2pm to 9pm from Wednesday 18th April to Saturday 21st April and tickets cost AED25 on site and AED20 online. For more information, please visit www.worldartdubai.com