Local Art in an International City
The Dubai art scene is blossoming. In recent years many new art galleries have popped up and many more seem to be on the way.
There are galleries dedicated to Vietnamese art, European art, Indian art, but perhaps most interesting are the galleries focusing on local art and Middle Eastern and North African art. Whilst most of the galleries showing Middle Eastern and North African art tend to focus on more contemporary works, they still offer a broad range of styles and media; something expected in a region of vastly different experiences and realities.
The Lawrie Shabibi is a contemporary art gallery in the industrial area of Dubai. A recent exhibition held there was by the Iraqi-Palestinian multi-media artist, Sama Alashalbi, and was entitled ‘Vs. Him’. The work took the form of an artistic dialogue and interrogated Middle Eastern notions of masculinity as they compared with the feminine.
Meem Gallery also focuses on contemporary art and has shown an impressive number of exhibitions since its opening in 2007; it specialises in Arab and Iranian art.
Another premier art space in Dubai is the Ayyam Gallery, which also has locations in Damascus and Beirut. It shows painting, sculpture and photography and promotes the Middle East’s cultural output.
These are merely a small selection of the huge array of galleries, café exhibition spaces and museums that Dubai now boasts. The fact that so many concentrate on local art shows the importance of history and heritage for this extremely modern city.
Photo courtesy: Nelson Ebeit