Art Nights at DIFC - November

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If you are an art fanatic like me, the idea of waiting all year for Art Dubai to arrive to get your art fix can be disheartening and tedious. Cue …ART NIGHTS! Various “art nights” are held at Dubai’s art hubs, DIFC and Al Serkhal, particularly in the winter. This is where the galleries sync up for an evening and show their latest pieces to the public accompanied with some great little snacks and scintillating live music. They frequently hire live artists to lend some youthful energy to the night. There’s nothing quite like being amongst the exciting buzz and meandering through the newest gallery exhibitions with a toasty amuse bouche in hand. If you haven’t been yet, (uhh…why?!) I highly recommend it.

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I popped in for a little while this evening to have a browse at some of the latest pieces on display this month. First I made a beeline for The Opera Gallery, which had some stunning giant portraits by Spanish painter Lita Cabellut. I found these really fascinating and I was drawn to the unique surface of these works which is her signature style of layering plastic over a painterly ground. This results in a texturally rich surface which is cracked in parts of the painting, exposing certain areas yet glassy-coated and laminated in others – almost like something preserved which is naturally ageing.
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Another favorite artist from this gallery is Roc Roussey’s work, whose paintings I have noticed and had my eye on for some time now. I love how evocative and haunting his imagery is, his strong oriental themes and how there’s such a sense of vibrance and movement. He appeals to me because of his strong illustration background which really shows through his work.

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Moving along to Caudro Gallery – this was one I was most excited about stopping by at because of a special photography exhibition Harper’s Bazaar was hosting. These images were portraits of women representing Middle Eastern Aristocracy and the photographs were taken by artist Ayaad Damouni. I love the high fashion imagery juxtaposed with opulent colours, patterns and prints. The look was completed with the odd splash of luxurious furs thrown in for that “old money” look. Luxury at it’s finest!

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I was very intrigued by the mysterious and sombre paintings of Aidan Salakhova. Her work spoke to me and hit me on a personal level as her subject matter often deals with gender themes and women’s sexuality in the context of religion regarding matters of prohibition and the different ideas of beauty. This is a subject I am often in conflict with, myself and find it difficult to broach due to its delicate and taboo nature so I’m impressed with painters that can explore these themes successfully in their very own visual language. There’s something about her work that reminds me of Salvador Dali a little. Take a look –
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Over at Art Sawa, Rafael Burrios solo show – Unfathomable was taking place. Venezuelan artist Burrios concept is based on the alteration of our perceptive mental state and he manipulates and challenges traditional ideas of vision and perception through his colourful geometric sculptures. I liked the art exhibition at the gallery, however, to get the true effect of his sculptures you really must see his huge installations set in real cityscape atmospheres which I have been looking at online.

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Ayyam gallery featured Syrian artist Mouteea Murad’s work. He is inspired by cubism, geometric abstraction and Kandinsky. Due to the delicate political state that is happening now in his native country, the artist yearns for a sense of balance, nostalgia and happiness. These wistful sentiments are conveyed through his large bright canvases. These are engaging, decorative and appealing to the eye and I loved the sense of harmony and attractive saturated colours depicted throughout.

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And now for something completely different! I really loved these artistic cushion and stationary designs by Rana Salam. They were fun, cheerful kitsch and a bit retro. Check them out!

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Great night out! Now, roll on Quoz Happens!