Please join us for a presentation on THURSDAY, 12 APRIL at 6PM by KZNSA Gallery Curator Bren Brophy, who has just returned with KZNSA CEO, Trevor Moore, from Art Dubai.
Art Week Dubai showcases annually the work of over 6 000 artists, in 75 galleries, and may arguably be the world's largest melting pot of contemporary visual culture. Bren will present a visual journal of contemporary artwork from the Middle East and beyond. Refreshments (Middle Eastern of course) will be served. All welcome.
20 March 2012
We attended the launch of Dubai Art Week last night, Monday 19 March. This as a prelude to Art Dubai which opens tomorrow night. Guided by our host, a friend of the Gallery and private collector in Dubai, we attended 15.... yip, 15 openings, five of them new galleries to the Dubai art scene. So it was a rather late night for us. Art week opened in two districts. First -Al Qor, a renovated warehouse area with arguably more edgy, even subversive showings; then the DIFD (Dubai International Financial District) home to the world's tallest tower and the world's largest mall which boasts, not surprisingly, the world's largest book shop. Lots of stretch Hummer limos to boot. On leaving Durban, the titles of the anticipated exhibitions left me feeling bashfully excited: 'In Decay', 'Nothing beats the blunderbuss', 'flea-ing me', 'a life in progress', 'Random Diaries', 'The Empty Quarter', 'Restless Violence' (my personal favorite), 'Toy Story', to mention a few. I was not disappointed: The work blew my non existent hair back. Watch this space for news of the opening of Art Dubai proper (a showcase of visiting international and Dubai galleries) which takes place Wednesday evening 21 March.
22 March 2012
Art Dubai opens!
Dubian and international art mavens turned up in a pretty decent-sized horde (a few like Genghis Khan at the VIP desk) for the Patrons' Preview (Tuesday evening, 20 March) and the public opening (Wednesday evening, 21 March) for the opening of Art Dubai proper. This falls under the umbrella of Dubai Art Week, which is a city-wide event. The venue was Souk Madinat Jumeriah a centre of planetary or even stellar proportions that resembles a traditional Arab souk. I could draft a treatise on the fashion but will restrain myself in the interests of good taste... save to say there were Jimmy Choos's in abundance. March in Dubai is all about art and, dare I say, money.
The Fair features over 75 galleries from 32 countries (one from South Africa and less than zero from the rest of Africa... obviously that needs to change!). I was understandably on a mission and mingled vastly and furiously. Harper's Bazaar published a special Art Edition globally to exclusively showcase Art Dubai. Complimentary of course! Which is a bit of a rarity here. A highlight for me (notwithstanding the art which was largely gob smacking, although also disappointing in places) was meeting Middle East Christie's Director Isabella de La Bruyere who last October hammered home $7 million at their Contemporary Art Auction in Dubai. At a separate function our quietly diplomatic CEO met the United Arab Emirates Minister of Art and Culture, his Royal Highness Sheik Nahayan Bin Mubarak Al Nahayan. As Curator, I got to take the pictures.
I will be giving an extensive presentation on my return to Durban, to which all will be welcome. Given that there must be at least
5 000-plus art works in Dubai, these pics are unapologetically personal and in no particular order.
P.s. The weather hasn't been co-operating. Which in Dubai does not mean rain (water, what water?) but a sand storm; so to bed with a happy arty heart and a mouth full of dust. Watch this space for more news tomorrow.
KZNSA Gallery Curator
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