Art Dubai returned in March for its 15th anniversary to celebrate design, style, and talent from 44 countries.
Spanning the course of a week, the beauty of Art Dubai allowed collectors and art enthusiasts to view pieces and collections from artists based all over the world. This has never been more true than in the 2022 fair, with it being the largest exhibition for Art Dubai thus far.
Honoring the heritage of the fair, the event was back at the illustrious Madinat Jumeirah hotel. When you enter arrive at the Madinat Jumeirah hotel you experience the beauty of the architecture, setting the tone for the art you about to experience. The spaces dedicated to the fair are divided into sections reflective of the art categories; contemporary, modern, bawwaba, and digital, with a new emphasis on NFT and digital artistry specifically.
With over 100 exhibitors, the general feeling in the air was excitement for the return of in person art viewing and acquisition.
Primarily, Art Dubai is known for viewing new pieces, discovering new artists, and building connections, but during the 2022 exhibition many sales were made, achieving over $3 million in the first three days of the fair. Art collectors were clearly eager to add to their collections, after the scaled down Art Dubai of 2021.
One of the wonderful aspects of Art Dubai is the focus on Middle Eastern artists, with over 30 exhibitors maintaining roots in the Arab world. One such creator is Emirati artist Maitha Abdalla who’s artwork, Talking Animals, a physical art piece, sold for for $12,000. Another unique artist from the Middle East is Ubek textile artist Dilyara Kaipova who learned from the master the old world tradition of garment creation and dyeing. Now she creates pieces made in the traditional fashion but with modern aesthetics such as Mickey Mouse.
Art Dubai has artwork on display from all over the globe, including work from American artists, including New York based Gracelee Lawrence. Lawrence explores the medium between digital and physical, using 3D printing to make digital a reality in her sculptural abstractions.
There is something new to discover in every hall and every section and especially so in the digital art exhibitions. Much of the hype for this year’s exhibition was based around this newly expanded section, with NFTs being a popular topic of conversation as well as a focal point.
An entirely separate building was dedicated to the digital art and through partnership with cryptocurrency platform Bybit, talks were held to expand the knowledge and understanding of NFTs and the like. “I’ve been an NFT artist since 2020 and I noticed in my time in NFTs that there was really not a whole lot of curating…Since then we’ve come together to curate NFTs, find ways of helping them to tell stories and have dialogue between them and presenting them in a different way, rather than just on an NFT platform” Morrow co-founder Jen Stelco said, speaking to Aljazeera. Morrow Collective is a fine art consultancy based in Dubai. The digital exhibitions fared well right from the beginning, with one of the early successes being GAZELL.iO. They had a sale of NFTs totaling over £15,000 on the first preview day.
With the return of Art Dubai being in person, artists and galleries in all sections who were finding resonance with buyers, a sure sign the art market is as alive as it ever was, especially in Dubai. At Theodore & C. our experience in fine jewelry and art allows us to be a part of the market as it evolves and provides us with inside perspective. We found Art Dubai to be an exciting
opportunity to continue to be at the forefront of fine art and jewelry. We not only attended the show, but also met various artists and gallery directors, several of whom we anticipate will soon be showcasing exclusive pieces through our platform.
Theodore & C.