Art Dubai 2017: Top 5 regional artists to look out for

Art Dubai 2017: Top 5 regional artists to look out for


Text: Faizal Dahlawia

Image: Courtesy of the artist and Green Art Gallery,

Art Dubai 2017 is just about set for launch and we unveil the top five regional artists that should be on your must-see list.

From paintings and installations to sculptures and photographs, these five artists are leading the way for the regional arts community with their innovative techniques and thought-provoking concepts. Buro 24/7 Middle East lists the artists that should be high on your Art Dubai list.

Shirin Neshat

Drawing from the period of conflict and turmoil within the region during the infamous Arab Spring, New York-based Iranian artist Shirin Neshat presents a collection of powerful photographs that challenge the ideals of the fabric of a society. Filling in the negative spaces of the portraits with calligraphy of poems by both writers and prisoners, Neshat's visual imageries offer a juxtaposition of rich history with uncertain modernity.

Art Dubai top 5 artists

Sadik Kwaish Alfraji

Iraqi multimedia artist explores the human consciousness in a project that includes paintings, drawings as well as film. Titled Seasons of Lost Baghdad, visitors can expect to be greeted by larger than life etchings, monochromatic drawings as well as an animation, all of which combine to evoke a sense of nostalgia and past grandeur.

Art Dubai top 5 artists

Mounir Fatmi

At Art Dubai, Moroccan Mounir Fatmi teases his explosive concepts with a wall installation that explores spirituality through the use of shapes and geometry. As well, running as part of the Dubai arts season, Lawrie Shabibi Gallery is presenting Fatmi's first Dubai solo exhibition titled Inside the Fire Circle, a multi-disciplinary show that's inspired by two seemingly unconnected themes: the circle and America's civil rights movement.

Art Dubai top 5 artists

Kamrooz Aram

The winner of Art Dubai's prestigious Abraaj Group Art Prize in 2014, Brooklyn-based Iranian artist Kamrooz Aram is renowned for his abstract take on ornamental elements particularly the motifs extracted from grand Persian carpets. Through the process of destruction, repetition and construction, Aram transforms benign designs into vibrant imageries that create its own context and interpretations.

Art Dubai top 5 artists

Chaouki Choukini

Born in Lebanon but based in Paris, Chaouki Choukini is a sculptor attuned to conveying emotions from his past through his work. With wood as his preferred medium, the artist turns his memories into something tangible, portraying a range of subjects from landscapes and nature to people and architecture. While aesthetically pleasing, it is the artful mix of contrasts – think positive and negative space, rounded and sharp – that offers a deeper insight into his subjects and his thought process.

Art Dubai top 5 artists

As well, for those who gravitate towards the sparkling aspect of art, head to Piaget's Sunny Side of Life exhibition where the maison showcases its savoir-faire through its exclusive haute jewellery collection inspired by all that is uplifting.