Mexican contemporary art comes to Dubai

Bernd Debusmann Jr. (Chief Reporter) Filed on October 14, 2015 | Last updated on October 14, 2015 at 07.59 am
Mexican contemporary art comes to Dubai

One of Toledo's paintings where colours and movement speak for themselves. -Supplied photos

Jose Toledo.

The paintings, an abstract collection of colours, are on display in Al Qouz.

The abstract paintings of Mexican expatriate artist and UAE resident Jose Toledo have gone on display in Dubai, becoming the latest event in the UAE's ever-increasing art scene.

Toledo, a 56-year old former civil engineer, began his career in the art world in 1993 with a stint as a guest student at the Delhi College of Art in India. Since then, he's lived and painted in Sweden, Spain and Jerusalem before finally landing in the UAE in 2008.

His paintings - which are on display at the Artissima Gallery in Al Quoz - can best be described as abstract collections of colours, which Toledo says are partly inspired by the places he's been, but can be interpreted differently by each person.

"Besides living in those countries, I've been able to travel around. They all left impressions on me," he said.

"Through my paintings, I'm trying to represent feelings, in which the colours and movement speak for themselves. It's a personal dialogue between the painting and the person looking at it."

"I think our feelings always depend on the moment in which we're living, as well as our past," he added.

"The curious thing is that you can ask three people what they saw in a painting, and each one will identify with it differently. Colours can mean different things to different people."

As a professional artist, Toledo says he's been impressed with how much emphasis the UAE has placed on its burgeoning art scene, which he believes is growing at a rapid pace despite the country's relative youth.

"Our country, Mexico is a millenarian culture, and the UAE on the other hand is very young.

That makes an enormous difference," he said. "As Mexicans, we learn many things about our art and cultural past that have become part of the national subconscious. Now, the UAE is starting a new chapter with regards to art, and it will continue to mature bit by bit."

"As an artist I can see the government and the private sector are working very hard to open more museums and galleries, as a way of bringing in the art and culture from different countries," he added. "The country is on a path that will make the art scene better for everyone, including expat artists. Since I arrived in 2008, I'd say the number of galleries has tripled."

Additionally, Toledo noted that he believes that the vast strides made in the UAE's art scene have opened possibilities for other artists from Latin America to come and make the UAE their home.

"The time is coming in which Latin America and Mexico, will have a big presence here," he said. "At the moment there are only a few Latin artists here, and even fewer Mexicans who have had the pleasure to show our work here," he said. "But down the line I'm sure there will be more of us, and I'm sure we will be accepted."

Toledo's art works will remain on display in Dubai until October 19.


Bernd Debusmann Jr.

Originally from Mexico City, I've been in Dubai since January 2015. Before arriving in in the UAE I worked as a general news reporter in TV and print in Mexico City, NYC and Washington DC. I'm interested in defence issues, politics, technology, aviation and history. In my spare time i enjoy traveling and football - I'm a keen fan of Chelsea FC. I developed an interest in the Middle East traveling through Jordan and the West Bank. I have a BA in Political Science from Dickinson College in the USA and an MA in International Journalism from City University London.

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