PHOTOS: Graffiti facelift for Dubai's Karama Street 18B
EYE CANDY ... Walls don't just have ears, but are also a sight to behold now, thanks to the grand project undertaken by Wasl Properties.
(Photos by Neeraj Murali)
Never mind the silence of a blistering weekday on Street 18B in Karama. The audio may be low - off season, no tourists, no shoppers - but visually the place has gotten a facelift. Thanks to an art project commissioned by Wasl Properties, a total of 24 murals by eight local and international artists, some flown down from Malaysia, have given the area around Karama Fish Market some much needed make-up.
Each piece takes up 15-20 metres, and does wonders to break the monotony of the Karama concrete.
The wall art is a mix of styles. There are the usual animal heads: an open mouthed shark, a tiger you don't want to mess with, a much too endearing looking lion, and some winged creatures: a parrot/ possible cockatoo, and a falcon - this is Dubai, afterall, we like our falcons. There are some quirky 3D elements, too. Like on a three-storey building (with the shop Las Vegas on the ground floor), there's a ship riding the waves, and the ship is painted on a 3D extension of the wall. It's one of the more interesting aspects of the graffiti.
The people who spend their days on Street 18B overlooking the art in Karama seem, let's just say, only marginally entrhalled. 'Shan' - short for Shahjahan - manning a deserted shop selling snowboots and rexine laptop cases at Maleeb Trading says the art is nice enough but it's not like they're getting any extra customers because of any more people coming in to Karama. ("Only you media people," he says).
Of the Karama art we saw, our three favourites are: 1. The green truck being lifted by a bunch of balloons 2. The balls of wool with the knitting needles sticking out and 3. The ship. We love the ship, and the illusion of the extended wall. Go see.
A VIEW TO REMEMBER ... Karama gets credit for withstanding the vagaries of time since 1975. It tells stories of generations.
CLOSER THAN THEY APPEAR -- A number of artists flew from Malaysia to give Karama its new makeover. PHOTOS BY NEERAJ MURALI.
SINK IT UP ... 3D artworks provide visual interest and themes as varied as they can possibly get in a place like Dubai.
INSIDE OUT ... This bustling part of old Dubai can add art lovers to its list of visitors normally looking for shopping bargains.
GLAM AND GO ... Karama streets got a new makeover at the hands of eight local and international artists who graced the old neighbourhood with 24 vibrant murals.
CLASSIC AND MODERN -- The old neighbourhood has a more modern feel thanks to the vibrant street art gallery.
FLY MY RIDE ... Artistic images give ambience to the bustling streets of Karama, turning them on their head visually.
PURSUIT OF HAPPYNESS ... The 15-20 metre pieces do wonders to break the monotony of Karama Street 18B’s concrete facades.
COLOUR SPLASH ... Instead of old, dusty buildings, residents get to greet their day with bright, peppy colours outside their homes.
SPIRITS LIFTED ... Each of the 24 outer walls of the centre carries an artwork, ranging from graffiti to 3D art.
A SHARK TALE ... Art tells a story worth a thousand words on the 12 buildings at a shopping complex that houses 319 outlets.