Just left Dubai after a whirlwind week of a show, Art Dubai, and a spot of painting on JBL Walk. Urban Art is a pretty new thing for the United Arab Emirates and almost unknown in Dubai, so i was pretty impressed with the turn out at the courtyard gallery for the private view. You don’t get as diverse a crowd any where, Emirates Bikers on huge custom Harley’s mixed with Dubai’s glamourous art set and street artists from Beriut & Abu Dabi. The show POP Wall, mixed works from the Graffik Gallery’s stable of artists and middle eastern artists curated by the Courtyard gallery, flowing arabic handstyles next to western stencils and islamic pop art works, a great show that gelled to show a common humour and attitude.
It’s not so easy to find spots to paint in Dubai, there’s no tagging, no flyposting, despite an abundance of building site hoardings and amazing spots. With cans of paint hard to source and at an incredible cost (almost $24 a pop), not to mention strict rules and penalties its not hard to work out why. Coupled to the fact i was painting large piles of trash i was amazed to finally get something street side. I have to thank Otto and his team at the Ocean View Hotel for letting me play on their hotel front, just on JBL Walk. By way of thanks i popped a few framed works around the hotel. If you want to convince someone something is art its often handy to have some whacking great gold frames to make the point.
Thanks to all who came to see the show, it runs till the 17th of April so if you didn’t get a chance to come down to the preview there is still time yet. A huge thank you to all who helped make this trip possible from Graffik, Ollie and Jay, who set the whole thing up and facilitated an amazing stay. From Courtyard, Samia and Nadine who were amazing hosts, put on an great show and found me spots to paint and The Ocean View Hotel, Otto and his team gave us free reign of the hotel and generally looked after our wants and need. Thanks all, see you next year?