Street Art Moves Mainstream at World Art Dubai
Dubai’s growing art scene is making way for a new wave of international street artists and emerging pop-art culture, according to street art-focused galleries that participated at this year's World Art Dubai, the region’s only accessible and affordable art fair.
With more than 150 artists and galleries at World Art Dubai 2019, street-inspired art was represented heavily among the 3,000-plus artworks at the fair. Key exhibitors believe the trend indicates Dubai’s potential for further growth as an emerging art destination.
“Although there is a large Arabic street art market here, western art isn’t as appreciated here as much as it can be. The market is changing though,” said Louis Wright, Owner, Vandalist Art. “There needs to be more people pushing the educational side to show people that these works are accessible and affordable – we need to increase awareness of the long-term investment value in art.”
The London-based conceptual art house, a first-time World Art Dubai exhibitor, is optimistic about Dubai’s growing acceptance of new art methods and is keen to support opportunities through education of consumers.
Ben Eine and Pure Evil exhibited on the Vandalist Art stand, which boasted limited-edition prints and stencilled work from major international street art names, including the infamous Banksy.
“We picked these guys for a few reasons. Firstly, to show what street art is and, secondly, because we wanted to highlight that there’s room in the market to buy investment grade street art at affordable prices at an affordable art fair,” Wright added.
Joining the pool of international exhibitors is local artist Amrita Sethi, who unveiled her hotly- anticipated Art Voice-Note© Collection: “It’s based on flipping the concept of an image meaning a thousand words – we’re letting words be worth a thousand pictures. The idea is that I capture the shape of the voice note, I then customise the individual lines to reflect the meaning of the word,” said Sethi.
“This is my first time at World Art Dubai and I’m very excited to be part of this affordable art platform,” Sethi added. “The fair has a perfect collection for new and emerging collectors. It’s a fair where people come to buy, not just come to look.”
Adding their own abstract take on art at the show are two of World Art Dubai’s curators, Batool Jafri and Samar Kamel.
“World Art Dubai is crucial for the art scene right now because World Art Dubai is one of those exhibitions that provides a platform, not only for international artists and galleries to come and exhibit here, but it is a major platform for emerging artists in such a beautiful setting.
“Dubai is a very strong emerging art market. People are much more educated about art right now with so many art events happening. There is so much more availability and awareness about the art scene now.”
“My favourite aspect of World Art Dubai is the diversity. Every stand has a different theme and meaning, so you just feel like you are in wonderland. Dubai is flourishing in art,” said Samar Kamel.