Jacob Carl, Managing Director
Tell us a little bit about the inspiration behind Zygo Art Gallery? Is there a reason for opening the gallery in the current scenario?
The Clothespin’s structure had become identified with Zygo’s art in recent years, as an expression of divine love: two halved souls, such as the two halves of the clothespin, come together in a sacred union that is ‘a parting for connection’. The distinctiveness of the clothespin structure stems from its balanced dynamic shape, prosaic and spectacular — these delicate contrasts are able to encapsulate stability and playfulness similar to this eternal love. The evolution of the Zygo Clothespin through different forms and contexts creates an abundance of meanings.
The Clothespin by Zygo is constructed by two segments joined together, in a manner which is inspired and reminiscent of the generic shape of a utility clothespin.
Zygo uses techniques of abstraction and defamiliarisation in order to imbue a dynamic contortion into this sturdy structure, by bending of half over the other, while raising one leg of the other, as an expression of happiness, similar to the iconic pose in Alfred Eisenstaedt’s famous photography.
One of the main reasons we came to Dubai is to give collectors the opportunity to purchase the unique art of Zygo in the form of the iconic Clothespin, with the ultimate goal being to build the first tower that leans on the motif of Zygo — The Clothespin tower.
The Clothespin Tower is the first conceptual building of its kind that turns the mundane clothespin into an icon of eternal love and unity. While most buildings and skyscrapers boast of height and architecture but lack truth and philosophy, the Clothespin Tower, based on the famous artwork of Zygo, can be called a ‘monument of art’. The concept behind the Clothespin tower shows two halves complementing each other, just like the everyday Clothespin.
The art is inspired by the clothespin shape — the same shape as your recently announced tower. Why is this shape appealing to you?
I love the shape of the iconic Clothespin that symbolises boundless romance for me, symbolises an aesthetic with clean lines, intimacy and eternal love. The iconic Clothespin is the next symbol in the 21st century for love and unity for us, at the times when we consume it the most, and when we are inundated with trendy symbols and the aesthetics that seem so simple to the eye contain harmony and love, when two divided souls meet together.
What does art mean to you? How do you view the UAE’s art scene?
Art for me, contemporary art, speaks to a wider audience and at the same time to a serious audience of collectors who always want to be in the front row along with the leading artists. I see Dubai as an international art center influenced by many national identities, projecting on the diversity of the art scene. This fertile ground corrupts many artists from the world, and we are part of them as you have noticed.
What is your vision for the Zygo Art Gallery? Will there be any other exhibitions at this gallery or any more locations?
The vision of the gallery is to expand in the emirates to another gallery, which will feature more unique works like diverse outdoor sculptures. As a part of our vision, we aim to open a museum of contemporary art in the attractive complex that will be in the Clothespin Tower, where trending exhibitions will be displayed, including Zygo’s collectible works. Additional exhibitions will be held at the gallery according to management schedules.
Tell us about the Clothespin Tower: How did the idea come to you and how is this project developing?
The Clothespin Tower is the pinnacle of the entire Clothespin series. This sculpture stands out in the series, as the iconic shape of the sculptures as a skyscraper. The general structure of the clothespin, as is in the entire series, manifests within it the principles of eternal love — when two divided souls are finally united to create a harmonious whole. As an architectural piece, Zygo’s unique clothespin design features these principles as an urban monument towering for all to see. As such, this is not a lifeless landmark, struggling to withstand time and history, but an innovative building, reflecting cutting edge ingenuity. Its essence is to encompass life — vibrant, fierce, and full of creativity. The dynamic and stable façade is integrated in the cityscape as an active agent by radiating these harmonious values.
What is your view on the UAE real estate market outlook?
From my familiarity with the area, and conversations with leading clients, it seems that the real estate market is saturated with assets, but it is a thirst for a unique icon at international levels, in the form of the Clothespin tower. We aim to make the Clothespin tower as the largest living art in the world, thereby making the art observer an integral part of it.
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