The ongoing World Art Dubai 2020 – with its social distancing rules, real-time crowd density monitoring, and wider aisles – continued to attract art lovers on the second day.
Hard to miss was the animal sculpture by sculptor Idriss B.? Do you recall the viral video of a gorilla and tiger, suspended by a helicopter over Dubai Marina? The French-Tunisian sculptor behind those two animals and many more made his debut at the fair. His works can also be spotted across destinations in Dubai, including DIFC and the Palm Jumeirah.
The guests also made selfie-stopovers at the Urban Art DXB space, dedicated to the works of street artists from around the globe, with skateboards, helmets and more on display.
An Instagram-worthy shot that stood out was the space dedicated to young artists, including art walls by Repton Dubai and Nord Anglia International School, Dubai.
Live art performances was another attraction for the visitors, with various artists providing on-stand experiences.
Dina Saadi, born in Russia and raised in Syria, who is now among the well-known artists and muralists of Dubai, said: “I am not a studio artist, so I am used to painting with lots of people watching me as I work.
“All of us, artists, were desperately waiting for this event, and I was looking forward to painting ‘live’, for I’d been painting for a long time from home.” Her work-in-progress artwork at the event that she started on day one, will be completed with its final touches today.
Sand artist Nathaniel Alapide was also at work again, and it was almost meditative to watch his creation come alive.
Prakash Raj, a 27-year-old artist who travelled from India to mark his debut at the event, was all praise for the arrangements. An IT engineer by education, he finds inspiration in spirituality and emotions.
With works of over 120 solo artists on display, and choices to pick up affordable art priced under Dh3,000, the fair is a must-attend for anyone seeking inspiration or taking home a piece of art. The event is on until today (1 pm to 9 pm) with more panel discussions, live art sessions, and workshops.
ART TAKES OVER THE CATWALK
A highlight on Friday was The Couture of Art, a wearable art fashion show, where models walked the ramp in outfits designed and tailored to incorporate artworks on fabric.
The German Consulate-General sponsored the intercultural project, which brought together German artist Petra Kaltenbach, one of the curators of the event, and Indian fashion designer Tanya Ashraf.
The two women joined hands to create an art-inspired fashion line, with the core theme, Pomegranate and Love. Instead of copying Petra’s artworks – themed on devotion, passion and love represented by blood, pistols – onto the clothes, Tanya used elements from the art, such as cupid and love arrows, to create high-end fashion pieces.
Models flaunted the gorgeous wear, and the show had two runs during the day. The pieces of art, as well as outfits, are both on display at the fair.
Sound waves tuned into portraits
Now, you can ‘look’ at sound – in monochrome, black and white or colour. At multimedia and tech artist Amrita Sethi’s booth at World Art Dubai, sounds, words, images and technology come together to tell an audio-visual story.
“Voice Note Art is about telling a story and seeing a sound, literally,” said the artist who created the concept of Voice Note Art, which she later copyrighted, globally, two years ago.
From then to now, she had participated in Art Dubai 2019; was given the ‘Outstanding Artist Award’ at World Art Dubai 2019; selected as one of the lead artists for Expo 2020; painted three murals at Souk Madinat Jumeirah, and more.
Born and raised in Kenya, Amrita is a British citizen of Indian origin who lived in Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Uganda, and the UK, before moving to Dubai in 2007. She used to work as a financial adviser, too.
Amrita has created Voice Note Art portraits of various people, including celebrities and world leaders. This year, she had done a commissioned artwork for His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
“It’s often said that a picture is worth a thousand words, but a word is worth a thousand pictures as well. Even as we say out our names, many images appear in our heads – images of our hobbies, friends, jobs and more. This art form is about creating a new language or a new font,” she explained.
How the concept works
Amrita first records a voice note, for example, about a city, a person, a feeling, etc. and captures its fluid shape and the structure of the sound wave.
Then, she draws each vertical line into individual images that encapsulate the beauty, spirit and essence of that voice note. And speaking the language of 2020 is a piece that she completed last week and is on display at the ongoing World Art Dubai.
Her hero piece, as she called it, is based on the sound waves of the word 2020. The symmetry in the artwork, with the digits 20 uttered twice, is hard to miss.
In the work, she has depicted the essentials of the year like masks, sanitisers, and even toilet paper, along with events such as the Beirut explosion, Black Lives Matter, and Elon Musk’s son’s name.
At the heart of the piece is the home, where we baked, Netflixed, home-schooled and worked from in lockdown. “I used the distance between the two peaks of the sounds 20-20 to reflect the necessary two-metre distance.”
Today, the last day of the fair, she is set to conduct a talk on the ‘Future of Digital Art’. “I will speak on topics like art and blockchain technology, and highlight how the art collectors, globally, are looking to buy virtual art and spending millions on it.”
The artist also launched her digital art collection at the fair.