Dubai has a lot to offer for all tastes, in the past 5 – 6 years the Arabic modern city has become a hub for art lovers; hosting international & regional events, housing world-leading galleries from New York, London, Paris, Far East & creating art scenes in every corner of the city, Dubai has surly stated it’s name as one of the main cities of art, marking an a destination in the Artistic Globe!
One of the main artistic attractions in Dubai is Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) home of 12 galleries including international auction house Christie’s. (DIFC) -stated in the heart of Dubai city close to Dubai Mall & Burj Khalifa- art 7 culture scene includes: ARTSPACE, Art Sawa, Ayyam Gallery, Christie’s, Cuadro Fine Art Gallery, Cube Arts Opera Gallery, Rira Gallery, The Empty Quarter, The Farjam Collection and XVA Gallery.
Let me take you on a quick tour to some galleries in DIFC & introduce an art scene perhaps you never knew existed in Dubai!
Opened in Singapore in 1994 at the initiative of Gilles Dyan. Today, the team boasts more than 35 individuals from all walks of life, all sharing the same life-time passion: art in general and contemporary art, in particular. A passion that they strive to communicate to connoisseurs and novices alike. A passion that knows no boundaries: indeed, Opera Gallery is present in all of the world’s major art capitals: Paris (1994), New York (2000), Miami (2003), Hong Kong (2004) and London (2005).
While providing the perfect showcase for the works of the Great Masters such as Picasso, Buffet, Dali, Gauguin, Miro, Braque and Chagall, Opera Gallery also devotes itself, early on, to promoting new artistic talent. Opera Gallery has always supported young artists who have gone on to achieve international recognition. Moreover, Opera Gallery continues to scout out new European, Asian and American talent. Photography, painting, sketches, sculpture, video creations…all existing art forms are expressed by artists from every continent.
When I visited Dubai last March, the gallery was showcasing paintings by french artist Roc Roussey and sculptures by italian artist Rosini Di Santi on the ground floor, while the second floor included artworks of pervious exhibitions by various artists.
French Artist Jean Pierre Roc-Roussey
“Roc Roussey lives in his own world of imagination, full of enigmatic people. The subjects in his paintings are often big, and as they are of unrealistic proportions, they tend to arouse our suspicions. The faces of the subjects seem to be masked, wanting to remain anonymous, with no identity. Yet, they tell a thousand stories; very often, it is the same face that we see throughout. The diversity is in the body language and theatrical costumes that seduce as well as fascinate the viewer. Roc Roussey uses beautiful fabrics to stylize the costumes of the subjects in a baroque style.
Like life, his compositions are ironic. They show us the fragility of the world which is invisible yet apparent. There is no backdrop in his paintings, yet the background exudes a sense of tumult. Roc Roussey mocks the world because of our inability to understand that war and fighting cannot bring about anything good.”
Classic but magical! Maybe because he is featuring oriental figures that bring you back to myths & childhood stories, the strong colors definitely play a big role in attracting viewers & transforming it from classic to modern art. What I liked about Roc Roussey work is the state of mind it grabbed me to, my imagination didn’t stop creating stories of each piece. I was always fascinated with mysterious artworks & he plays with this element very well through the face expressions; they are smiling yet don’t seem sad, not sad but don’t look happy! Roc Roussey swifts viewers from the year 2012 into a mysterious, beautiful fairy tale!
Italian Sculpture Nichola Rosini Di Santi
“From the age of twelve, Nicola Rosini knew that his life-calling was as a sculptor. A master with bronze, Rosini’s pieces are simple and intelligent. Using space as a part of his medium, Rosini is able to create objects that are beautiful, clean and most importantly breathe with life.
Today, Nicola Rosini lives and works in Provence, France. He was born in 1959 and studied woodworking and furniture at the School Boule.“
And here are some random pictures taken from Opera Gallery (DIFC)…
Cuadro Fine Art Gallery
Founded in 2008, Cuadro Fine Art Gallery has quickly become one of the UAE’s premier contemporary and modern art venues. Each year, the gallery assembles a substantial curatorial program in four distinct visual areas of interest: Painting, Paper, Photography, and Sculpture. Each exhibition centers on a significant educational paradigm that is accompanied with lectures, workshops and panel discussions.
In addition, Cuadro provides qualified art consultation services for its discerning collectors, offers an international platform for its stable of artists, and administers an extensive Residency Program for a select group of artists.Through these initiatives, Cuadro maintains its commitment to dynamically engage and add value to the local and international art communities.
Then came the playful XVA Gallery!
XVA Gallery hosted a solo exhibition by Iranian artist Morteza Zahedi ‘Toy Story’. The new body of work comprises a large number of pieces created in a variety of medium – works on paper, bronzes and installation; including neon and found objects.
Asked if ‘True Story’ has a political “story” or statement behind it, Morteza told Al Maha “it is far away from politics, it is personal… Too personal & deep!”.
Walking by artworks, you feel it’s a journey of different characteristics, moods expressed in complex tiny pieces of toys. Now I know toys are suppose to bring back child-within but in Morteza works it is different. It’s a complicated universe of million types of people and personalities, composed all together to create life, experiences and memories some are good and others are bad… Morteza’s toys looks within us not the other way around, bringing our current personas not the ones that held and played with ‘toys’!
At the end of DIFC tour Part One, you can’t leave or enter the building without being stopped, stunned and captivated by
This is just part one of DIFC tour, I am planning to reveal the artistic side of Dubai as much as I can because every week there is something booming and changing in that dynamic fast-forward city! So our tour in DIFC is not over because there are other galleries to check them out, until then…