Regional Artists To Watch During Art Dubai

4 min read

MOJEH Men takes a closer look at six of the region’s emerging artists, who should be on your radar

The most highly-anticipated art fair in the region and the most globally diverse, Art Dubai returns for its 13th edition in 2019. Taking place during Art Week – dubbed ‘March madness’ by art-lovers and those in the know – Art Dubai (which runs from March 20 to 23 ) will host over 90 galleries from over 40 countries, as far-flung as Cameroon and Colombia. This year’s edition sees the launch of two new sections: Bawwaba, which features 10 solo shows of new works by artists based in, from or influenced by Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Central and South Asia, and UAE Now, which explores the country’s independent and underground artist-run platforms and collectives.

Plan for the day, which may see you through most of the night. Take in performance art from the likes of Trinidadian ‘carnival artist’ Marlon Griffith, whose parade comprising 150 performers from Duba’s Filipino community will pass through the entire fair, and Instagram-worthy installations, such as Solaroca by Brazilian collective Opavivara! whose colourful structure and beach-like environment fuse both Brazilian and Middle Eastern influences to invite visitors to mingle. Round off your visit and continue the creative energy with Art Dubai’s after- dark music programme, this year powered by London- based NTS Radio, with Nabihah Iqbal (formerly known as Throwing Shade) and Alexander Nut among the DJ line-up. With artworks spanning the gamut of art media – from drawing and painting to photography and video, to sculpture, installation and performance – and from more than 350 artists, one could be forgiven for getting lost among the sheer range of art on display.

Marwan Rechmaoui, represented by Sfeir-Semler Gallery, Beirut and Hamburg

In his work Marwan Rechmaoui derives inspiration from the geography and complex multicultural history of Beirut, reflecting on themes of urbanisation and contemporary social and behavioural demographics. In lieu of mapping urban spaces, the artist does not view the city according to typical urban planning standards, instead, he points to socio-political affiliations and etymological histories from each community. Art Dubai Contemporary

Vikram Divecha, represented by Gallery Isabelle van den Eynde, Dubai

Vikram Divecha is a Mumbai-born artist based between New York and Dubai. His work addresses labour, time and value, interrogating specific environments and challenging socio-economic structures that manifest as public art, sculptural installation, video and drawing. He was one of five artists that participated in the UAE National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2017. Art Dubai Contemporary

Ayman Zedani represented by Athr Gallery, Jeddah

Experimentation with different media coupled with a fascination with scientific processes and the properties of unconventional materials are all features that characterise the work of Sharjah-based Saudi artist Ayman Zedani. Encompassing sculpture, photography, painting and digital techniques, his works celebrate the diversity of ideas that can be found through experimentation, and often depict layers within accepted traditions and narratives. Art Dubai Contemporary

Tammam Azzam, represented by Galerie Kornfeld, Berlin

Tammam Azzam first gained attention in 2013 when he was forced to leave his studio in Syria and began making digital photomontages in Dubai. His works look at the conflict within art making in the face of war and violence. Now based in Berlin, his hand-painted papers feature more than 50,000 individual pieces, and his images come together like chaotic mosaics that unfold into powerful abstractions resembling buildings, structures and disasters. Art Dubai Contemporary

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, represented by Sfeir-Semler Gallery Beirut and Hamburg

Beirut-based Lawrence Abu Hamdan is a contemporary artist and audio investigator whose interest with sound and its intersection with politics originate from his background as a touring musician and facilitator of DIY music. His work looks into the political effects of listening, using various kinds of audio to explore its effects on human rights and law. The artists’ audio investigations have been used as evidence at the UK’s Asylum and Immigration Tribunal and as advocacy for organisations such as Amnesty International and Defence for Children International. Art Dubai Contemporary

Sam Samiee, represented by Dastan’s Basement, Tehran

New-gen Iranian painter and essayist, Sam Samiee pushes the limits of traditional painting to create mesmerising new typologies. His research is grounded in history or philosophy, Persian literature, the history of painting and psychoanalysis. Art Dubai Contemporary

Art Dubai runs from March 20 to 23, 2019.

Photography: Art Dubai; Lucia Pizzinato; Photo Solutions; Art Basel

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