More stories

  • in

    Nat Morcos on how SKOONI is shaping the artistic and aesthetical landscape in the region

    Lifeby Camille Macawili2 hours ago Nat Morcos, creative, entrepreneur, and co-founder of multidisciplinary luxury brand Goshá and SKOONI Arts Foundation & Residence, on her new business endeavour, the power of aesthetics, and how SKOONI is shaping the artistic landscape in the region and UAE.What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?My daily morning routine is a very important part of my life, it’s more of a religious, sacred ritual and I often feel if one element of my routine is missing, the day is not going in the right direction. I am up at 6:30am. I start with a two-minute ice cold shower, five minutes of somatic movement and a self-lymphatic massage with an LED mask on my face. Then five minutes of grounding where I stand bare feet on the grass facing the sun in my garden, followed by a self-made “magic potion” of three salts of water with lemon juice. Then dog walking with my favourite music or podcast on and coffee after and then off to a morning 45-minute workout or class – usually Reformer Pilates or cycling followed by an hour of beach time. That’s my church.What was the catalyst to launch SKOONI?Since we launched our interdisciplinary creative studio/agency/collective Goshá Buro back in 2021, we often thought it would be great to create our own space too where we can host people, brands and talents we love, within a set-up we created. Together with my husband Michael Morcos, we have a passion for architecture and design and transforming spaces into something completely new and exciting. We are also very passionate about performing arts and always wanted to have our own “say” in supporting talent in the arts field, so SKOONI combines all of it under one roof.Tell us more about the concept and the inspiration behind it, and how has it been received?SKOONI is an arts foundation and residence with event spaces for showcase and intimate performances, as well as three independent residences for international artists to reside with us and showcase their talent as well as get inspired by the Middle East and bringing their vision and interpretation of our culture, traditions and mentality back to the parts of the world where they are based and practiced.SKOONI is part of a global artistic exchange and it’s absolutely a dream come true for me and Michael. We got tremendous love from the community and our partners from luxury fashion and lifestyle brands, and we are yet to tell and shape our story and mature in our vision of how SKOONI could be a valuable cultural institution with a global voice.The place is very transportive. Where does it take you?SKOONI was dreamed, envisioned, designed and built by myself and my husband, Michael. SKOONI is our vision of what Dubai contemporary architecture could be. We want our visitors to feel they are in Dubai… they are in the Middle East but it’s yet to get familiar for them as a look and feel. So, it’s Dubai as you get to fall in love. It’s its own universe.Who do you look up to when it comes to those aesthetics?Art, poetry, cinema, theatre, and my dreams.How has your love of travel influenced your creative process and overall brand aesthetic?I am inspired by nature, human creativity, and expression in the form of art, architecture, design, cityscapes as well as history. I travel to stop my mind from the day-to-day routine and open my eyes for new.How do you balance the creative and commercial sides of the business, and do you feel more drawn to one than the other?As our business grows and expands, my husband started to play the role where he oversees business operations and I am mainly focus- ing on the creative process, vision for our businesses and strategy for growth and the direction we take.You’ve always been able to think outside the box. Have you always been a creative soul in this way?You have to train your eyes and brain to travel. I often need to put myself into a “pain” state, where I bring the most tragic parts of my life experience forward and face them over again to be in creative mode. When my soul cries, the most beautiful things are born. I read sad poems, watch sad movies and overall make myself “feel’’. Often creativity takes me two days of silence – not talking to anyone and not seeing anything. Silence and solitude bring beautiful ideas out to the world. In general, I can never describe my creative process. It just comes out of nowhere with “Hello, that’s the one you need”.How do you consistently innovate as a business?You have to progress, reinvent and stay relevant. It’s important to educate yourself and collect information from different industries and individuals to understand and spot trends to know what will be the next need and collective obsession. Constant innovation from minimal to drastic in every business is essential. The secret is to bring new talent into your team and let them bring a little revolution into how things worked before them.This is The Creativity Issue – what do you associate with that term?Creativity means innovation and change to me… Things and dreamers who are not stuck and have no fear and in constant search of what’s new, different and beautiful.– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramMay’s – The Creativity Issue with Tiffany & Co. – Download Now More

  • in

    Future Bedouin on blending cultural heritage with modern technology

    Lifeby Ruman Baig3 hours ago Welcome to our exclusive interview with Future Bedouin, the avant-garde AI artist whose creations draw inspiration from the rich cultural history and heritage of the UAE.With a blend of cutting-edge technology and deep appreciation for tradition, Future Bedouin’s art transcends boundaries, inviting viewers on a journey through time and culture.Join us as we delve into the creative process and vision behind this innovative artist’s work.What does the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?I simply handle emails and any pending tasks before my daughter wakes up.What inspired you to blend traditional art forms with technology in your artistic journey?Living in the UAE for the past couple of years, I’ve observed the cultural melting pot and the influence of Arab culture and heritage. I’ve always wanted to blend this with modern technologies and futuristic thinking. That’s what Future Bedouin does.Can you elaborate on how your fascination with Bedouin culture led to the creation of Future Bedouin?To me, it was always fascinating how quickly the tribes transitioned from desert life to the most modern and advanced giga cities, with Dubai as a world leader. Initially, when I started creating, I just wanted to share my personal view and the way I see the surroundings through the eyes of an expat. I never intended Future Bedouin to be a way of living, but it quickly became a full-time job.Could you walk us through your creative process in crafting otherworldly content, such as your euphoria-inducing physical installations and phygital artwork?It usually begins with an observation or a thought. I often make sketches or clay models that I later transform into 3D models. Then, we spend countless hours rendering and photoshopping. Sometimes, I use artificial intelligence for the conceptual stage, but I prefer old-school tools. When it comes to physical projects, we translate the 3D designs into material breakdowns, mockups, prototypes, and actual fabrication.How does the rich cultural history of the UAE influence your work, especially in exploring the interplay between past and future themes involving Arab heritage?I feel that Arab heritage, with its love for nature, symbols, and poetry, is an endless source of inspiration for me. Everywhere in the region, you look around, and there is an element, a person, a tree, or a building that inspires me to create artwork.As someone who transitions seamlessly between the digital and physical realms, what challenges do you encounter in preserving your designs’ essence during fabrication?Even with the achievements of the 21st century, I still face a lot of material limitations. My designs are so surreal that sometimes it’s just impossible to build them. While 3D printing has improved the process, there are still areas I can’t explore due to the lack of technology.With AI constantly evolving, how does it influence your artistic style, and how do you integrate new tools and techniques into your creative process?While AI can offer exciting possibilities, I focus on how it can enhance rather than replace my creativity. I might use AI tools for inspiration or to experiment with new ideas, but ultimately, my artisticstyle remains rooted in my own vision and expression.Could you share insights into your upcoming collaborations with local and international brands in the luxury market?I can’t share too much due to the sensitive nature of those projects, but I can say that there will be two big projects in the US, including a collaboration with a world-renowned fashion brand house. Additionally, there are plenty of projects (both digital and physical) in the region, so stay tuned.How do you draw inspiration from the desert landscapes, oasis, and traditional Bedouin textiles and architecture in your artwork, and how do you infuse them with futuristic elements?I blend desert beauty and Bedouin culture with futuristic ideas in my art. By mixing traditional elements like textiles and architecture with modern touches, I create something new and exciting. It’s like combining the old with the new to make something fresh and different.What are your thoughts on the intersection of AI and art? Do you believe AI has the potential to replace human artists, and how do you see the role of human artistry evolving in the age of technological advancements?I don’t think AI can replace human artists. AI might help in some ways, but it can’t capture human creativity and emotion. Our art comes from our experiences, feelings, and imagination. Even with technology, human artists will always bring something unique and personal to their work.Looking ahead, how do you envision Future Bedouin contributing to the evolving artistic landscape, and what can we expect from you in the future?I am currently working on even more immersive art installations (both temporary and permanent), and at the same time, I am preparing a limited edition of oil paintings and bronze sculptures as there has been insane demand from my collectors. Then, vacation!This is The Creativity Issue – where do you find your creative inspiration from?The desert landscapes, traditional textiles, architecture, and the stories of the Bedouin people all fuel my imagination. Their timeless beauty and unique traditions inspire me to create art that pays homage to this rich cultural tapestry while also exploring futuristic themes and ideas.– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramMay’s – The Creativity Issue with Tiffany & Co. – Download NowImages: Supplied  More

  • in

    Roxy Cinemas brings the Royal Opera experience to Dubai with LIVE Ballet screenings


    by Ruman Baig
    20 mins ago

    Dubai’s cultural scene is set to get even more interesting as Roxy Cinemas announces its partnership with the Royal Opera House in London.
    Offering an unparalleled cinematic experience, Roxy Cinemas will broadcast LIVE ballet and opera performances from the esteemed Royal Opera House’s 2024 season directly onto the big screens in Dubai.

    From 11th February to 4th August 2024, ballet and opera enthusiasts can immerse themselves in a world of artistic brilliance at Roxy Platinum, located in Dubai Hills Mall and Boxpark. The screenings promise to transport audiences into the heart of the action, with fully reclining seats, seat warmers, wireless charging, and in-seat food ordering and delivery, ensuring maximum comfort and convenience. For those unable to attend the LIVE viewings, Roxy Cinemas offers encore presentations in both Platinum and Silver screens.

    The lineup of performances is nothing short of spectacular. From the passionate tragedy of “Manon” to the ethereal beauty of “Swan Lake,” and from the emotional intensity of “Madama Butterfly” to the fiery passion of “Carmen” and the historical drama of “Andrea Chenier,” each screening promises to captivate audiences with masterful choreography, iconic scores, and gripping storytelling.
    To further elevate the experience, all guests can indulge in an exclusive Afternoon Tea in the Platinum Lounge. Priced at Dhs75 per person, guests can enjoy brewed teas, finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and an array of pastries and sweets, creating the perfect pre or post-show ambiance.
    Don’t miss this unique opportunity to experience the magic of the Royal Opera House in the heart of Dubai.
    For more information and to book tickets for the LIVE and encore screenings, visit the Roxy Cinemas website.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Supplied More

  • in

    Artist Lauren Baker on creating a captivating installation for Kintsugi Space

    Discover the transformative power of Kintsugi Space, Abu Dhabi’s pioneering women-only sanctuary, where renowned wellness practitioners and artists converge to celebrate the art of healing and renewal, highlighted by Lauren Baker’s captivating installation. In an exclusive interview with Emirates Woman, Lauren discusses the captivating installation “Letter From The Universe” in depth. What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine? The first 30 minutes of my day is a sacred ritual. A mindful start serves as the foundation for the creative energies that will unfold throughout the day. I often start with drinking my greens supplements and a brief meditation. Then I take myPomeranian puppy called PomPom, with an Earl Grey tea, for a short stroll. Being with nature gives me so much inspiration and grounding. I do a few yoga stretches and some Kundalini breathing and then I enjoy a blast of cold before a warm showeram then on my way to the studio. The reality is that this doesn’t happen every day as my work can be all-consuming with longhours, yet I aim to maintain my ideal routine as best I can – it’s the little things that make life beautiful. Can you talk us through your career journey? My early years were marked by a fascination with the interplay of light and shadow, and the intricate dance of energy that permeates our existence. My degree is in Business, Psychology and Sociology, then as soon as I had the epiphany that I was an artist (whilst in the Amazon jungle) I did an intensive master’s in mosaics in 2011 and then studied Site Specific Sculpture in 2017. However, it was during my travels around the world in which I was inspired by diverse cultures, spiritual practises, and the natural world, I began to infuse my work with a sense of transcendence and interconnectedness. My art became a conduit for exploring the invisible threads that bind us all. Some highlights include exhibiting at the most prestigious institutions including the Tate Modern, V+A, and Tate Britain. As my portfolio grew, so did the recognition of my work on a global scale. My most meaningful work was my first ‘Letter To Mother Earth’ at Tate Modern, which involved a ten-metre letter as an open apology to nature on behalf of humanity. I was commissioned to create two large-scale public installations in the UNESCO-protected desert in AlUla, Saudi Arabia inspired by the Sun and the Moon, and the most exciting to date is the recent 25-metre ‘Letter From The Universe’ at Kintsugi Space in Abu Dhabi. The 25-metre letter sculpture at Kintsugi is truly inspiring. Can you share more about the creative process? The initial spark of inspiration emerged from the concept of being one with the universe and receiving a message from a higher realm of consciousness. I meditated and wrote a special letter and recorded the frequency of my voice into sound waves, before creating the sculpture and, painstakingly, painting gold sound waves across both sides of the 25-metre letter, over a period of a year. The installation involved slowly pulling the letter up using a winch system, traversing seven staircases. The moments of securing the sculpture to the ceiling, 25 metres up on elaborate scaffolding, were intense. I was in the zone with my team and Donna from Studio Feel, and I forgot to breathe at that point, letting out a sigh of relief as it went perfectly to plan. It was worth the challenge to see the piece suspended and I took delight in seeing the 360-degree views that the staircase provides. It has a feeling of infinity as you gaze to appreciate it cascading all the way to the floor. The activation of energies from the seven chakras and the focus on inner peace are intriguing aspects of your sculpture. Could you elaborate on this? The content of the letter is an activation of the energies of the seven chakras and our collective higher purpose of harnessing inner peace, as well as inspiring peace within the world. Our first responsibility is to seek peace within ourselves, then we offer it to others. The letter was created as an activation to cultivate mindfulness, balance, gratitude, happiness, inspiration and ultimately peace. Universal frequencies contained within the letter form an energetic code, exploring energies from the seven chakras and expressing the internal journey that can lead one to fulfilment, peace and light. How did you ensure that your artwork resonated with Kintsugi’s values and the overall vision for the holistic space? Creating artwork for Kintsugi Space, with its deep commitment to wellbeing, spirituality, and aesthetic harmony, was a profoundly enriching experience. The installation needed to seamlessly integrate with the spa’s ambience. I drew inspiration from the spa’s design elements, such as the use of natural materials, soothing colour palettes, and minimalist yet elegant aesthetics. In terms of wellbeing, my artwork became an extension of Kintsugi’s commitment to nurturing the mind, body, and soul. The calm colours and flowing gold text create a visual sanctuary within the space. The piece was designed as a catalyst for relaxation and introspection, contributing to the overall wellbeing experience of the visitors. With its spiritual abstract message and its enormity in scale, the artwork aims to evoke a sense of transcendence and connection to a higher, more profound dimension. Your artistic practice explores symbolism, higher realms of consciousness, and nature. How do these themes play a role in shaping this installation? Sound wave symbolism formed the core of the installation, transforming the large letter into a vessel of meaning. As a symbol of communication, the letter became a channel for a profound conversation, expressing universal messages and interconnected energies. It wove a story that went beyond its literal form, inviting viewers to engage with the cosmic language it held. Inspired by higher realms of consciousness, the installation aimed to provide a transcendent experience. The immense size of the letter sought to create a feeling of expansiveness, urging viewers to look beyond the ordinary and connect with their higher consciousness. The design of the letter incorporated natural forms and textures, mirroring patterns found in the natural world. The 25-metre letter metaphorically served as a gateway, encouraging individuals to transcend their immediate surroundings and connect with the vast universe. Collaborating with Studio Feel adds another layer to the project. Could you share more about this? Donna Tzelepis, the visionary behind Studio Feel, has been an absolute joy to work with. Her passion for art and dedicationto curating a space that speaks to the soul is infectious. The unique approach of focusing on women-only artists brings a distinct perspective to the project. It’s a celebration of the diverse voices, stories, and artistic expressions that women bring to the table. This intentional curation not only fosters a sense of inclusivity but also adds a layer of empowerment to the overall narrative of the installation. With both Kintsugi, Studio Feel and I had a beautiful alignment of visions. The two-year timeline of the project speaks to the commitment and dedication invested in its realisation. Creating site-specific art at 25 metres above the ground involves a lot of health safety and preparation so the collaborative journey becomes an integral part of the artistic process. The commissioned artwork aims to cultivate mindfulness, balance, gratitude, happiness, inspiration, and peace. How do you envision visitors experiencing this? Envisioning how visitors will experience and interact with the piece involves creating a multi-sensory journey. The sheer scale of the 25-metre letter draws attention, immediately prompting a sense of mindfulness, encouraging viewers to be present at the moment. The symbolism within the letter, coupled with the curated soundscape of my voice revealing the message, infuses the space with an aura of gratitude and joy. The message is an invitation for visitors to embark on an inward journey. The soundscape reveals a message of truth and higher purpose, and acts as a meditative anchor, envelopingthe space with a sense of peace. The installation invites introspection and connection with a higher purpose. Each visitor becomes an active participant in this experience, finding moments of reflection, inspiration, and connection within the layers of messages in “Letter From The Universe”. Kintsugi Space embraces imperfections, believing they lead to strength, beauty, and resilience. How does your artwork embody or reflect these values? The powerful message within the artwork aligns with Kintsugi’s philosophy, emphasising the transformative nature of imperfection. References to the “energetic code” and “internal journeying” support the idea that imperfections can bring about positive change. The mention of one’s “personal map” recognises life’s imperfect paths, turning them into valuable lessons. Inviting chakra energy centres to unravel symbolises releasing imperfections, aligning with the spa’s belief in inner harmony. The idea of spiralling in a dance with the divine suggests imperfections are essential elements in the journey to alignment. “Letter From The Universe” embodies Kintsugi values, portraying imperfections as a source of transformation and enlightenment. This is The Authenticity Issue – what does being authentic mean to you? As an artist working on themes of symbolism, spirituality and the higher realms of consciousness, in the public eye, being authentic is important. It involves a willingness to be vulnerable and open about my creative process, inspirations, and the challenges faced along the way. It involves staying true to the essence of the themes explored, even when faced with external expectations or trends. Authenticity acknowledges that the artistic journey, like life, is imperfect. It involves an ongoing commitment to self-discovery, vulnerability, and the sincere expression of profound themes. It involves embracing the ebb and flow of creativity, acknowledging mistakes, and finding beauty in the imperfections. – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram Images: Supplied More

  • in

    How I got my job as… Specialist in Middle Eastern 20th and 21st century art

    Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome.
    This week, we’re putting the spotlight on Suzy Sikorski, Specialist at Middle Eastern 20th and 21st Century Art at Christie’s. Here, the New York native shares her early interests in the art world, what drives her main passion, and what it takes to raise up incredible talents with the aim of seeing Middle Eastern art flourish – regionally and internationally.
    What was your favourite subject at school?
    As a young child – totally science! I was a chemistry nerd and grew up with my aunt and uncle’s medical books. I’d even read and draw over them during breaks at school – much like artist Basquiat (Jean-Michel Basquiat) read Grey’s Anatomy books as a child.
    What was your first job?
    My first official job was actually Christie’s – as a Junior Art Specialist. I had plenty of internships across real estate, luxury and art sectors, but my first ‘real’ job was at Christie’s.
    Other internships included art advisor at Kim Heirston (Kim Heirston Art Advisory, New York) throughout most of college followed by Ayyam Gallery in Dubai.
    What eventually brought you to Dubai?
    In 2014, I was an exchange student at the American University of Sharjah. It was a crazy first trip moving so far away from my home and family in New York at the time. Further to that, I received a Fulbright Scholarship in 2016-2017 that paved the way for my official move to Dubai. Following the completion of my scholarship, I was fortunate to start at Christie’s as a Junior Specialist in 2017.

    What inspired you to enter the art space?
    I have an uncle who lives in New York who worked at Dolce & Gabbana for over 20 years, and is now with Alexander McQueen. Early on in my career he connected me with many creative individuals in the art, fashion and real estate sectors. I had the opportunity to work with powerhouse women straight out of high school and post college who introduced me to the luxury lifestyle sector.
    I always had a great interest in the Middle East, so during my time in New York I would actively search every bookstore and gallery to track down art magazines to read up on the Middle Eastern art scene. Whilst at University I also wrote and contributed articles on art exhibitions and artist reviews, and also published Middle Eastern artist biographies in Oxford University Press’ Benezit Dictionary of Artists. I mapped out all the regional artists living in the United States of America and made studio visits.
    In 2016, I also was part of the team launching GENERA#ION: Contemporary Art from Saudi Arabia exhibition in Minnesota Street Project, San Francisco, as supported by the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture (iThra) – which represented the first exhibition of contemporary art from KSA in the Bay Area.
    I then assisted galleries at Art Dubai and at Abu Dhabi Art which helped me connect within the art eco-system in the UAE and beyond. This was an invaluable opportunity to network and meet artists, gallerists, collectors, art lovers and creatives from around the world.
    Talk us through the concept of “Mid East Art”?
    Mid East Art is a digital storytelling platform across the art and culture eco-system of the Middle East region, founded and run by me. MEA acts as both an archival reference that documents and analyses the regional Middle Eastern modern and contemporary art scenes through in-person public and private storytelling initiatives, alongside curated digital art production. Its interviews and curatorial content is displayed, showcased in essays, video and text interviews, and as published articles on and on Instagram.

    The inception of MEA began after I completed my Fulbright Scholarship, awarded after my thesis on Hassan Sharif – my Fulbright focus covered artist video and text interviews of three generations of UAE art history. Mid-East Art is powered by community driven events, largely made in part from its Storytelling Sunday gatherings (interpreted and directed as performance) that ran from Autumn 2022 to Summer 2023. Past activations have included one day exhibitions, performance re-enactments, manifesto readings, exhibition walkthroughs in modern and contemporary galleries and museums, artist studio visits, each week directed and led by a different Storyteller as expert within the specific topic that allows a wider perspective on art: across music, dance, literature, cuisine, sports, among others.
    What are the key elements of your role?
    My role is multi-faceted and no two days are the same. I work to support raise awareness of art and artists across the Middle East to our international clients and to our Christies, international specialists. There is so much storytelling to expand upon and share the breadth and diversity of the regional art scene. Alongside building the regional Middle Eastern Art auctions, I also support a focus on integrating Middle Eastern modern and contemporary art into the Christie’s international 20th & 21st Century art sales, and private selling exhibitions to further build the market, especially for those Arab artists highly sought after by international clients.
    Talk us through your daily routine.
    As Specialist in Modern & Contemporary Art, my main focus is on securing top level Modern & Contemporary Middle Eastern Art for sale; this consists of consigning works for auction and private sales; continuing to expand my art expertise and fostering top level client relationships in the Middle East.

    My daily schedule includes meeting with clients to discuss valuations for auctions, private sales and strategic partnerships, that integrate both international and regional art. In addition to many messages and responses to clients internationally that I keep up with across time zones.
    Auctions of Modern and Contemporary Art take place globally and we have clients in the Middle East actively bidding and buying, so it’s important to set up the bidding support channels for them, and review the catalogue for each sale aligned with our clients preferences or collections.
    I travel across the GCC and beyond regularly visiting clients for object and/or art collection valuations and also attending art fairs and institutional shows for building client relationships and continuing to deepen my art expertise in the region.
    What advice do you have for anyone looking to follow in the same footsteps?
    I would take time to visit artist studios, regularly visit galleries and art auctions to gain a sense of the market as well as developing your own knowledge. I recommend placing yourself in the client or collector’s shoes to view the market as they would. Ask yourself what is it that they are looking for? What shapes their preferences? By doing this it supports craft a better understanding of what your clients are looking for as well as ensuring to continue to learn at every possibility.
    What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
    Never stop learning – no matter what stage of your career
    And what is the worst?
    Follow money over passion – no way!
    What has been the biggest challenge you had to overcome?
    I am an art specialist with over 10 years of expertise and experience both in the Middle East region as well as in Middle Eastern art. However, I do not have Middle Eastern roots or ethnicity. I come from an American family in Long Island, New York State, USA. It took time for me to establish myself in this market with clients and also within the wider art eco system in the Middle East. I overcame this by being able to demonstrate my expertise – whether in our auctions and via private sales, or advising clients and being able to share my knowledge. I also found that Mid East Art has opened doors. From producing digital mashups that started to mix American music, film, literature and other pop cultural references helped me start to connect more deeply with art.
    What are your future goals and plans for your career?
    I wish to continue expanding the Middle Eastern art market, across our regional sales, and also across our top level global Evening and Day sales of Modern and Contemporary Art whilst also continuing to expand Mid East Art storytelling initiatives at all levels: across regions, age groups and educational sectors. I would also like to encourage more females to enter the art market from the Middle East and continue to be a champion of female Arab artists.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
    Images: Supplied More

  • in

    Art Dubai 2024: When, where and everything else to know

    Life by Ruman Baig 10 mins ago As Dubai continues to solidify its position as a vibrant cultural hub, anticipation mounts for the upcoming 17th edition of Art Dubai. Set against the stunning backdrop of Madinat Jumeirah, this prestigious event promises an immersive experience for art enthusiasts worldwide. Let’s delve into what makes Art Dubai 2024 a must-attend affair. Dates and Venue The biggest art spectacle is scheduled to captivate audiences from March 1st to 3rd, with exclusive previews on February 28th and 29th. Nestled within the opulent surroundings of Madinat Jumeirah, this iconic location sets the stage for a convergence of creativity and innovation. Diverse Presentations More than 100 contemporary, modern, and digital presentations will grace the event, representing over 60 cities and 40 countries. Notably, 21 presentations by exhibitors based in Dubai underscore the city’s burgeoning art scene. Special Highlights Art Dubai Digital returns for its third edition, showcasing groundbreaking digital art. Meanwhile, Bawwaba, meaning ‘gateway’ in Arabic, offers a curated series of solo artist presentations exploring the theme of healing. Additionally, Art Dubai Modern spotlights leading artists from the region who engaged in cultural exchanges with the Soviet Union post-1960. International perspective This year’s theme broadens the scope of the ‘Global South,’ celebrating diverse narratives and shared histories from communities worldwide. From Delhi to Guatemala City, it embraces diasporic and migrant histories, reflecting Dubai’s multicultural tapestry. Engaging Dialogues The Global Art Forum 17 will tackle pressing issues such as climate change and extinction. Esteemed speakers from various disciplines will explore solutions and initiatives over two insightful days of discussion. Experiential Offerings In addition to captivating artworks, guests can explore immersive experiences such as Piaget’s “The House of Gold” exhibition. This showcase offers a glimpse into high-end jewellery, watches, and newly commissioned artworks, enriching the cultural tapestry of Art Dubai. Art Dubai 2024 promises to be a celebration of creativity, diversity, and innovation. With its diverse array of presentations, thought-provoking discussions, and immersive experiences, this cultural extravaganza is not to be missed. Join us as we embark on a journey through the captivating realm of contemporary art in the heart of Dubai. – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram Images: Instagram: @artdubai  More

  • in

    How I got my job as…Head of Sotheby’s UAE

    Welcome to the Emirates Woman weekly series ‘How I got my job as…’ where we speak to some incredible entrepreneurs and businesswomen both based in the UAE and globally to find out about their career paths that led them to where they are now; what their daily routines look like; the advice they’d give to those starting out; and the hurdles they’ve had to overcome. This week, we speak to Katia Nounou Boueiz, the visionary Head of Sotheby’s in the UAE since 2017. With her poignant leadership, she has transformed Dubai into a global hub for unveiling remarkable artworks and groundbreaking news, putting the city firmly on Sotheby’s map of cultural significance. In a detailed chat with Emirates Woman, Katia talks about her journey so far and how she envisions to shape the future of art in a thriving landscape like Dubai. You’ve been at the helm of Sotheby’s in the UAE since 2017, what inspired you to take on this role and contribute to Dubai’s emergence on the global arts scene? Looking back, it all came together almost as if by fate. I actually joined Sotheby’s all the way back in 2008, working in the London office but with a core focus on nurturing the new generation of collectors in the Middle East. When I married my husband in 2015, we decided to move to Dubai, and so I had to of course let management know. I certainly didn’t expect that they would turn around and offer me the chance to open Sotheby’s first office and gallery space in the Middle East (as you can imagine, it was an offer I could hardly refuse!). Shortly after, I found out I was pregnant, and nine months later, I was pregnant once again! Before I knew it, by the time the office had officially launched in 2017, I had two little ones under two, and an entire office to manage and run (my third child in a way!). It was terrifying and exhilarating all at once, and I can’t imagine it any other way. Eight years later – we are not only still here, but our team of three has expanded to eleven of us permanently on the ground in the UAE – so not only did we manage to survive, but we have also gone beyond our initial scope and feel proud to be part of the Emirates’ thriving ecosystem for the arts. Your involvement in bringing major artworks to Dubai, like the recent Picasso that sold for $139 million in New York, has been transformative. How do you approach curating and unveiling such significant pieces in the region? Dubai has long held a reputation for hosting the biggest, the best, the tallest, the most valuable… and so my strategy with which artworks and gems to travel to the doorstep of collector’s here has always partly aligned with that. Put simply, lets being the very best of the best that is on offer at our global auctions, because, why not? Standards and expectations here are high. With UAE as one of the culture capitals of the Middle East, and with the great appetite we have witnessed, it doesn’t take much convincing for the business to send us these incredible highlights. Whenever something major is about to be announced for auction at Sotheby’s, I jump on a call with the head of department or most relevant specialist, and we talk through bringing it to the UAE as part of its global travelling exhibition (or indeed, more and more, as the very first stop on the tour). When we know what it is that is coming, we plan a whole host of programming around it – from collaborations with our wonderful neighbours The Arts Club, to educational talks with our specialists and relevant spokespeople. For the most exceptional lots, we also make sure we work closely with Dubai Culture and DIFC, who have been so supportive in the past. We have been lucky enough to bring the likes of Marie-Antoinette’s pearls, artworks by Botticelli, Rubens, Picasso, Kandinsky, Boetti and Warhol, and important stones from across the rainbow, including the once-in-a-generation Estrela de Fura (a 55.22 carat ruby), the Infinite Blue and Eternal Pink diamonds, and the Enigma (the largest polished black diamond in the world at 555.55 carats). The ‘Made in the Emirates’ exhibition showcased local artists. Can you tell us more about the importance of promoting local talent and how it contributes to the cultural fabric of Dubai? The UAE is home to some amazing artists, designers, architects, jewellers, the list goes on, and we feel very lucky to be part of this ecosystem together. I myself collect works by Emirati artists, including a piece by Mohamed Ahmed Ibrahim that I am particularly fond of. Though Sotheby’s is very much a heritage company whose history goes back to 280 years, we feel very closely connected to the DNA of our particular location. We believe it is super important to promote this cultural scene and celebrate these creatives – offering them a platform (given our reach is so international) and raising awareness – as much as possible wherever we can. As well as our selling, and non-selling exhibitions, the educational side of things is also key, for example our series of public talks with collectors. Very excitingly, and something quite new for us, during Dubai Fashion week in February we have teamed up with the Arab Fashion Council and Mrs. Keepa to be the venue for the much-anticipated launch of the French-Egyptian designer’s latest line. We’ll be styling her avant-garde creations with jewellery and handbags that we are offering for private sales, so it’s all very symbiotic. We always have an exhibition during Art Dubai week too. I can’t say too much, as the details are still under wraps, but we are planning a sort of love letter to Beirut, and Lebanon more generally, as a melting pot for the arts – having been the home of, but also inspired, so many of the major artists from our region. I would love to shout out a few other homegrown talents as well: Engage101, who are a platform that study, support and exhibit young emerging Gulf artists, and Bayt AlMamzar, a great community space for artists. Beyond traditional auctions, you’ve organized charitable collaborations, including a post-explosion charity auction for Beirut. How do you see the role of the arts in contributing to charitable causes, especially during challenging times like the ones we are in? Charity auctions have always been important to Sotheby’s, as part of our ongoing dedication to giving back and our commitment to making our industries more accessible, sustainable and collaborative. Globally just this past year, we played a role in raising over $200 million for various non-profit organizations, with more than $58 million directed towards museums. From providing one of our fabulous auctioneers (whose skills on the rostrum are fully unleashed when raising bids for charity), to more full blown initiatives where we partner with a charity to put together an auction of donated lots, we hope that we can continue to give back where we can. Your commitment to engaging the local arts community is evident, with talks, workshops, and involvement of children. Why is it essential for you to foster this community engagement, and how do you envision its impact on the future of the arts in Dubai? Education and investment in education is key for the continued evolution of the art scene of any nation, and we believe it is critical to focus our attention on providing the unique insights and content that come from our centuries of expertise. Whether our audience is a child, a seasoned art collector or a young, first-time buyer, our number one priority is to educate (and also to learn!). When we brought the Picasso portrait to Dubai last year it felt like a landmark moment, just watching every person who walked through the door was so rewarding: it really shows you that the thirst is there. From men in their work suits coming in on their lunch break, to gaggles of young children, the awe and wonder was palpable. Bringing my own children to see it was actually one of those lovely career moments for me – I had been talking about it to them for days over the dinner table (they always know first what is coming!), and so it was very fun for them to see it in person. They went back home that evening and did their own little drawings of the painting, which were pretty good! How does your multicultural background influence your approach to curating and connecting with artists from various parts of the world? Much in the same way as Dubai itself, I feel like I am a melting pot of everything from the West and the Middle East. I am half Iraqi, half Iranian, married to a Lebanese man, born and raised in London but French-educated, it is difficult to put a label on it! I have such a strong, natural affinity to the Middle East, and am so proud to be working and living here – and at the same time, I am so keen to showcase international artists, and expose clients to art from all over the world. Given your success in bringing renowned works to Dubai, what is on your wish list for future art collections or exhibitions in the region? I have quite a few ideas that we are working on, but one that I come back to a lot is the concept of a ‘Prints’ online sale here, as prints are just such a great entry point for young collectors, and are a great way to decorate your home (with pieces by some of the best known and best loved artists). A personal favourite of mine is Latin art, as well as African American art, and this is something that hasn’t really been done before – its always nice to add new flavours to the UAE. Last year we had a talk about the late Fernando Botero, with his eldest son, and it really inspired us to think about these themes and explore further, as there was such a huge appetite. Watch this space! Are there specific artists or genres you hope to introduce to the local art scene of Dubai? Over the years, we have had a sort of roll call of the great artists who are international household names, from Old Masters to pioneering Modernists, and so I love the element of surprise of what might emerge next from a great collection, ready to be shown to the world once again. I am keeping my fingers crossed for a Monet and a Magritte. Beyond that on my wishlist are Henry Taylor, Amy Sherald, Lynette, Kehinde Wiley, Kerry James Marshall, Basquiat and Rashid Johnson. – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram Images: Supplied  More

  • in

    Exclusive: In the office with Clemence Cazeau, Director of Arts and Events at 37x Dubai

    Life by Camille Macawili 9 mins ago VIEW GALLERY/ 5 IMAGES 37x Director of Arts and Events, Clemence Cazeau, shares the conception of this hybrid creative space that aims to bridge the gap between art and technology. Tap the gallery above for a tour inside 37x. How long have you been in this space? The gallery officially opened its doors to the public on November 1st, 2023. However, I’ve been in the art world pretty much since I was born. My parents were both in art, and I knew this was what I wanted to do. I’ve been combining my love for art with tech since about 2018. This is when I first started digging deeper into NFTs and the power of blockchain technology. In 2021, we started looking for venues, architects and contractors to build what is now 37xDubai. Have you custom-built any bespoke pieces? We have not built any bespoke pieces for 37x. But we have curated many interesting artists for our current “Radiance” exhibition. Some of the works are from The SHIMURABros, a sister-brother duo from Japan, Justin Weiler, a French artist, and Juno Shen from China, who have all created unique artworks that beautifully reflect the power of light – as well as the combination of art and technology. How do you think the interior reflects you? The design of 37xDubai embodies art, innovation, and creativity. As an initiative by Morningstar Ventures, it has a strong DNA derived from the world of technology. Describe your taste in three words. Beauty, creative, environment-inspired. February’s – The Tech Issue with Christiana Maxion  – Download Now – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram Photography by Mark Mathew More