Gulf’s only accessible and affordable art fair aims to banish elitism from art with buyer-friendly prices starting at only USD100
Dubai, UAE, April 11, 2017: The third season of World Art Dubai opens at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) tomorrow (12 April, 2017), providing a professionally curated platform dedicated to the UAE’s passionate art collectors and first-time buyers, displaying masterpieces created to suit all budgets .
Running April 12 – 15, World Art Dubai will collect more than 150 local, regional and global artists and galleries showcasing over 3,000 one-of-a-kind artworks.
In addition to filling a regional market gap for an accessible and affordable art fair offering original, quality pieces to suit all budgets, World Art Dubai will feature an expansive programme of interactive Create a Masterpiece and The Art Of workshops, exclusive talks in The Blah Blah Lounge and numerous outdoor activations in The Yard that enhance the event’s billing as a unique fusion of art, education and entertainment.
“The primary objective of World Art Dubai is to open up the world of art to everyone - we want to educate people from all walks of life on the best practices for starting their own art collections and investing in art,” said Trixie LohMirmand, Senior Vice President, Exhibitions & Events Management, DWTC. “The third season of World Art Dubai will house more than 3,000 original artworks including paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs and more, with prices ranging between USD100 and USD20,000.”
A professionally curated and price-sensitive platform for the UAE’s international community of passionate art collectors, first-time buyers and the simply curious, World Art Dubai 2017 will gather more than 35 international galleries and over 120 emerging and established artists in dedicated pavilions representing Europe, Japan, the Ukraine and the USA. The work displayed in country pavilions includes everything from pop art, abstract and figurative drawings to quirky European street art from England, France, Italy, Russia and Turkey.
Confirmed galleries this year include Nina Torres Fine Art from the USA, Singapore’s Gnani Art, In and Out Art from the Republic of Korea, the UAE’s Simon Maarouf Gallery, Rare Mandi from India, the USA’s Shinn Gallery, Sconci from the UAE and the UK’s Signet Gallery, while participating artists include Elean Kroll, Jeff Murray, Jessica Watson, Dana Nasr, Maja Polijak and Zina Hamdan.
Two artists making their World Art Dubai debuts this year are Jani Vishwanath and Agnethe Maagaard. An Indian artist who has never used a paintbrush in her life, Vishwanath works with knives and blades to create oil canvases that are raw, sharp and mesmerising to the eye. Maagaard creates work using only raw glass and with each piece having its own special design and history, the Dane has earned international recognition at galleries throughout America.
Vitally, every artwork on display at World Art Dubai has been rigorously assessed by the show’s Advisory Committee, which includes a panel of curators, directors and art experts, with prices for original artworks fixed at a maximum of USD20,000.
World Art Dubai’s pricing strategy falls in-line with the international trend of affordable art driving international art sales. These days, collectors often purchase art because of its intrinsic or social value, with more than eight in 10 collectors buying mostly for emotional value, compared to 40 percent who are motivated by investment return. Indeed, almost two-thirds of the contemporary art sold at auction in 2015 fetched USD5,000 or less, according to ‘The Contemporary Art Market Report 2015’. Furthermore, the worldwide art market has seen a 210% growth over the past decade, with the Global Contemporary Art Sector now valued at USD5.25 billion, accounting for 48% of all fine art sales.
“The UAE is blessed with an eager population of creative, active and aspiring art enthusiasts and collectors, and Dubai is now among the top 20 leading marketplaces for contemporary art worldwide,” added LohMirmand. “Affordable art is not a gimmick or a marketing trick, it is serious business that provides artists all over the world with tailored platforms to showcase their talent and sell their work. The UAE’s passion for art is reflected in the local participation at World Art Dubai, which includes an assortment of youthful emerging artists and established personalities that are sculpting our city into one of the world’s leading cultural and creative hubs.”
In addition to participating UAE-based artists at World Art Dubai, Islamic art features strongly at this year’s exhibition via a new feature called Exhibition Islam, a dedicated space for contemporary works by artists from, or with roots, in the Middle East.
“Drawing inspiration from their own cultural traditions, artists may use techniques and incorporate imagery and ideas from earlier periods to build creative links between the past, present, and future,” says Zaahirah Muthy, Curator, World Art Dubai 2017. “Exhibition Islam will feature contemporary Islamic artworks from Iran and the Arab world.”
Returning for a third consecutive year and reinforcing the event’s message that contemporary international art is accessible to all, Art For Every Wall Under AED3,000 will feature a variety of original artworks with prices ranging between AED500 and AED3,000. The dedicated area is open to every artist exhibiting at World Art Dubai.
Engaging and inspiring talks from international artists, curators and academics will also be taking place at The Blah Blah Lounge, while artists from Mahaweb From Beautiful People – a Dubai art studio for adults with special needs – will hold workshops and lead talks about how art has helped them overcome their disabilities.
World Art Dubai has also partnered with a number of local and international companies this year to create a truly one-of-a-kind atmosphere at DWTC. Debuting its new and exclusive ‘The Art Of…’ workshops, visitors are encouraged to get involved in a variety of exclusive workshops to help unleash their inner creative spirit. Experts at Forever Rose will host a The Art Of…Flower Arranging, while the Ali Al Mulla Group have created a mini Oud laboratory that teaches visitors The Art Of…Perfume-making by mixing and matching different oils to fashion their own fragrance. Finally, French beauty brand Lancôme will be bringing its regional makeup artist Salma El Saadany to the event, who will be experimenting with the hottest looks for lips this season at The Art Of…Makeup Masterclass.
A separate activation from Lancôme, they will also bring its Rose of Kisses activation to World Art Dubai, with visitors invited to select one of the brand’s new Matte Shaker lippies and leave their mark by kissing a two-metre tall ‘rose’ which will move on to Paris and other major international cities after Dubai.
Outdoor in The Yard, The Ripe Craft Market will collect dozens of small local businesses selling quirky lifestyle gifts, innovative concepts and authentic crafts, adding an al fresco vibe to the affordable art fair.
Entry to World Art Dubai 2017 is AED20 for a daily pass when purchased on site, or AED15 when purchased online prior to the event. Show timings are 6pm-9pm on 12 April and 2pm-9pm on 13, 14 and 15 April. Children of 16 years and under are admitted free of charge, upon showing a student ID.