Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Art Fix In March


House guest extraordinaire Frances ( partly  ,but not exclusively, on account of her yummy cooking skills) and I got a small art fix by catching the Art Bus at the tail end of Dubai Art Week. I chose the Al Khos Art Bus route as I do not have a clue about getting around that part of town. As you can see  I had a well thought out and considered reason for choosing our route. As it turned out I think I made a good choice.
We saw  memorable, thought provoking and wonderfully interpreted  artistic exhibitions . Were treated to collections  hosted by passionate gallery owners / workers. And  saw, well, ho hum, some dreadful work. That's how the crumble cookies darlings.   
The Samawi Collection was my favourite stop, I am so very, very relieved that the collection is privately owned and that nothing was for sale. It almost pains me to admit, but I will admit, that I would have been forced to sell my beloved husband into slavery to pay for a couple of the works that I drooled over - had they been for sale. And you know, quite apart from the fact that I would miss Bryan terribly , and deprive my children of their father ( although as they get older that is not such a burden.....)there would be the whole dreadful business of trying to explain why Bryan was not at work anymore...... and the repercussions of judgement from Family and Friends ( did you hear etc.....) Like I said such a relief that the art was not for sale. 
I think Frances’s  fave was Traffic another private collection and I think, an Art History Type like Frances idea of heaven.
There were two noticeably disappointing exhibitions. A speciality Indian Art gallery had one piece that I liked, an installation that I took to be that of eggs about to hatch. Womb like sounds cocooning warm light bulb eggs . The rest of the work was tired, not well put together and frankly poorly chosen. There is such a wealth of amazing Indian Art out there that I thought it showed either laziness on the part of the gallery or a complete lack of artistic eye in the works displayed. I am not talking about differing taste. Good art is finely crafted. The materials are expertly manipulated.  You might not like what you see but you should never have to question the quality of the work.  The other exhibition we were not overly fond of was an inelegant attempt by three artist to shock us. Their slightly off kilter  installation  was, I think supposed to mirror a home and the collection of artworks there in. Again the criticism is one of poor workmanship. If you want to play with the public’s senses and with their minds have the courtesy to do so with good workmanship. 
We had an interesting encounter with the lady manning the cash till at the Lime Tree CafĂ© & Kitchen where we stopped for our  lunch break. Frances and I rushed in all excited by our ½ days fun. We wanted to order our lunch and then pop out to the gallery next door ( while our lunch was loving prepared) and then come back to our  "delich deli ready lunch". So we eagerly asked if we could do this. The reply was a decidedly bored and  disinterested  "Whatever”  ( think  Catherine Tate   doing her best "Am I Bovvered” teenager here) complete  with a small sigh and slight eye roll. And all this from a grown up. Not some 15 year old or stroppy 20 something clinging to her teens  but a full on grown up person. Frances and I were hard pressed not to burst out laughing. I think this was noticed and our “server” immediately  up-ed her tempo and improved her manner. It was a flash. Just an unexpected flash come and gone in a moment but quite entertaining.
It was a love-er-leeeee day.

And if you are interested in a well written  ( ie not my ramblings) piece about art. Try This: http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/2010/05/why-is-modern-art-so-bad/
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