Art Dubai 2013

Photo by Bethany Edwards. An ArtWork from Art Dubai.

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend Art Dubai, which has been going on for at least 5 years, if not longer. And while my article last week did criticize our contemporary art scene and its sometimes disappointing expectations of artists, I was inspired by a handful of artists who were shown. This week I plan to highlight them.

(Special Note: Images here are from Art Dubai, taken by my friend Bethany who has an amazing photo blog called Anthology of a Nomad, check it out.)

Rokni Haerizadeh

As described on Saatchi Gallery’s website: “Rokni Haerizadeh uses painting as a means to critique the hypocritical aspects of his culture.” Rokni Haerizadeh was born in Iran and much of his work considers the society of his heritage. He began exhibiting his work in 2000 in Iran and since then has exhibited in Germany, France, China, United States, United Kingdom and United Arab Emirates.

Huguette Caland

Huguette Caland is a Lebanese artist based in the United States. I was drawn to her work initially because of the scale and color in the exhibited work. It was large and rectangular and at first I thought it was a textile work. The work is entirely filled with patterns that made me think of quilting or patchwork. When I got closer, I realized it was actually a painting on loosely hung canvas. The paint was sometimes staining the surface and other times was beautiful linework that together make all kinds of patterns. I wanted to wrap up in it like a blanket. The more I looked at her work I felt like it was a combination of Rothko and Klimt.

Shirley Paes Leme

Shirley Paes Leme is an artist from Brazil that likes to play with ideas of the ephemeral. At first glance her work at Art Dubai may have been an average abstract painting, but what makes it all the more interesting and skillful to me is the design was created with smoke! To me, that makes it almost reminiscent of printmaking. I LOVE the notion of using a non-traditional medium (link to other art dubai reviews) and the artist part of me wants to figure out how she worked with the smoke to achieve the effects she managed. An interesting review of her work and ideas is here.

Photo by Bethany Edwards. An ArtWork from Art Dubai.

Yi Hwan Kwan

This may have the artist whose work generated the most excitement in me. I think Yi Hwan Kwan’s work truly exhibits both skill and concept. His sculptures play with space in the most unique way. It’s hard to understand his work by only describing it with words, but I’ll try my best. He creates sculptures of people that are hyper realistic, but the figures are not to scale. And there is something else slightly “off” about them: Yi Hwan Kwan has manipulated the figures in a way that changes the way viewers experience the figures in the space. It actually made me feel vertigo! I wasn’t the only one feeling dizzy from looking at these figures. It was such a cool experience. This Google Search of his sculptures will help you better understand what I’m describing! But seeing it is a thousand times better and worth every minute of your time.

Zsolt Bodoni

Zsolt Bodoni’s work spoke to me more on a spiritual level. It resonated with me in a nostalgic, memory driven kind of way. The painting I saw had an image that made me think of family photo albums and its composition created a distance between myself and that moment, which gave it this feeling of a distant memory. It felt pregnant with a story, or a history. And when you read his biography it appears Bodoni’s this reflects his investigation and aim: “he sources information from documents, art history and music; his work both a means of understand and a process of recreation through forcing a new view of the past from the perspective of the present (from biography link).”

One other artist I listed as worthwhile was Kristen Everberg, but unfortunately I cannot remember her work and can’t seem to find her on the internet.

BE COURAGEOUSLY CREATIVE: Did you attend Art Dubai? Which artists resonated with you?