Dubai: Latest art exhibits you cannot miss

If art is in your mind, then there’s much to explore in the coming days


Purva Grover

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Published: Fri 17 Dec 2021, 4:02 AM

All the roads in these beautiful winter months are leading to display of art exhibits, whether at galleries, hotels or the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai. We bring you a quick round-up of what’s happening where so that you can plan your arty evenings.

Laugh to escape sadness

We all know of Pinocchio, the character that shaped our childhood and formed the basis of our first lesson on lying; a tale of morals we recall fondly. In 2002, Italian artist Antonio Nocera illustrated the book, The Adventures of Pinocchio. In the same year, he inaugurated the exhibition, Pinocchio et la Lune, at Paris Municipality. The nostalgic exhibition, The Adventures of Pinocchio, opened last Wednesday, and Antonio’s work makes us realise that whoever knows how to play lives better, whoever knows how to laugh escapes sadness, whoever imagines lives twice: a normal life like everyone else’s and one made of dreams and fantasy. From sand to sawdust, from glass to canapa, he experiments with a wide spectrum of materials to ignite different effects on a canvas to make them appear three-dimensional and ‘sculpture-like’. For Antonio, Pinocchio only speaks the truth and never lies, similar to everyone else. He sees the human in the story.

At: Oblong Contemporary Gallery, Dubai; until January 31, 2022

Cinematic history and beyond

Masterpiece’s Gallery Three has opened its doors to an extraordinary display of images of Hollywood stars, alongside works featuring iconic scenes from fashion and history. Titled The Silver Screen and Beyond, it showcases images of legends, including Al Pacino, Harrison Ford, Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe and more, captured over the decades by fashion and film photographers like Terry O’Neill and Markus Klinko. History connoisseurs can revel in the iconic works of George Rodger, the renowned war photojournalist. Alex Cousens, Executive Gallery Manager at Masterpiece Fine Art, said, “This is the perfect exhibition for us to launch Gallery Three, giving us the opportunity to bring these iconic photographs to the Middle East.”

At: Masterpiece Fine Art, Wafi City, Dubai; until 31 Jan, 2022

Dubai skyline as NFTs

German artist Tina Reichel’s work was showcased at the ongoing Expo 2020 Dubai. Her painting, Dubai Skyline, was converted into NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) for the first time on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the UAE, earlier this month. For this purpose, Reichel digitised her artwork and then transferred it into 50 individual virtual artworks, i.e. NFTs. She found inspiration for her large-scale painting, which depicts the architecture of Dubai’s skyline in fluorescent bright colours, during a trip to the still fairly young global metropolis. “Dubai is making history right now and has long been a serious location for contemporary art,” said Reichel.


Largest mobile artwork in the world

German Painter Leon Löwentraut is in the city to present Global Gate, the world’s largest transportable work of art, in front of the world’s tallest building, Burj Khalifa. The artwork is based on the thematic orientation of Expo 2020 Dubai and is titled Sustainability Show in the Desert. Designed by 23-year-old Löwentraut, it showcases his 17 motifs of the #Art4GlobalGoals campaign; unmistakably based on the Brandenburg Gate in its construction, the artwork is 24 metres wide, 21 metres high and six metres deep. Its five passages invite the visitors on a path of transformation: on each of the 10 interior walls, the contents of the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are explained in 12 different languages. Löwentraut said, “Being able to exhibit my artwork here in Dubai means a lot to me. The city inspires me to think big. I like that.” The project was inaugurated in the first week of December in association between EMAAR Properties, YOU Foundation, Marcus Schäfer, Oliver Duys, and other partners. In the spirit of sustainability, the entire material of the work is 100 per cent recyclable, and the paints used are environment-friendly.

At: Downtown Dubai, until March 2022

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