As Art Dubai is in progress, scouring through the infinite galleries showcasing works of more than 500 artists was as compelling as it may sound.
As we took in all the art, we felt incredible emotion which all the pieces, however some more than others. Here are some pieces that, in our opinion, truly stood out.
1. Ricus, by Alpin Arda Bağcık (Zilberman Gallery)
Bağcık’s work is inspired by moments in 20th century history; he criticizes authority and power through his photorealist paintings. The artist uses a balanced mix of the different mediums of photography, and painting, adding a dash of history and thought into it, to come up with reflective pieces, titled after drugs prescribed to mentally ill patients.
2. The Man Who Died Not, by Dia Azzawi (Meem Gallery)
The Iraqi artist’s black and white sketches were originally intended to illustrate a commemorative volume of short stories, by the late Palestinian activist and writer Ghassan Kanafani.
These sombre figures express the disturbing psychological effects of being stateless (as described by Kanafani in his literary work.) Each of the ten dawings depicts a specific moment, with twisted, agonised figures, shrouded and ready to be buried. These works are looked at as a testament to both Kanafani and Azzawi’s beliefs, and continuous fights for their rights.
3. Super Mario, by Rana Samara (Zawyeh Gallery)
Part of Samara’s War Games exhibition, taking place at the Palestinian-based gallery, Zawyeh. The Super Mario piece spoke to us, as it should. The painting was inspired by a war-inflicted memory pf the artist’s, where she (and her family) were kicked out of their own home by Israeli soldiers, interrupting her Super Mario game. From that, came an entire collection, exploring the refugee children’s dreams, featuring trauma, escapism, and a burning desire to just play.
4. Farewell to Proserpina, by Mohammad Hossein Gholamzadeh (Dastan’s Basement Gallery)
This installation is made by Iranian sculptor, Mohammad Hossein Gholamzadeh. It is made of a metal stand, intricately shaped into a man, holding a striking orange Fiber glass, alluding to concepts of lifestyle, thought, and contemporary events. This piece completes a wonderful exhibition at Dastan’s Basement, Le Gymnasium Sacré.
Art Dubai continues through March 23 at Madinat Jumeirah.