STREETCON, the Urban Art Festival

It's finally here...STREETCON (Street Art Connection) kicks off today and runs until 2 May at Al Ghurair Centre. The urban art festival will bring together art, music and street culture, with over 20 local and international artists involved.

Among the many activities and art installations on offer are regular workshops with Dubai-based street art collective, The Brownmonkeys; a mural wall created by artist Tarsila Schubert; an exhibition of bicycles transformed into artworks; and a moving display of photographs documenting the stray cats of Dubai by artist Jandri Angelo Aguilar.

Not to be missed - Capsule Arts artist Matt Ryder will also be doing some live painting, creating an incredible paint splattered, UV-lit Neon Room! You can see more work by Matt and buy art prints of his work here.

For the full round of events click here, and for regular updates, visit the Facebook event page.

street con
street con
 

The 33rd Emirates Fine Art Society Annual Exhibition

Capsule Arts headed over to Sharjah the other day to catch the Emirates Fine Art Society’s 33rd annual exhibition, the longest-running art event in the UAE. This year's edition includes over 100 artworks by 36 GCC artists, including several artists who feature in our limited edition print collection.

Mahmoud Abbod, Abdelgadir Hassan Elmobark and Mohammad Al Qassab all showcased bold new works, which in the cases of Elmobark and Al Qassab show a new direction in their artistic practice. You can buy affordable art prints of their work from www.capsulearts.com.

The show acts as a significant reference point for the growth of art in the region and each year sees a new curator taking over. This year, it is the Emirati artist and gallery owner Mattar Bin Lahej.

See some of the highlights in the picture gallery below. The exhibition runs until April 8 at Sharjah Art Museum.

MAQ
MAQ
Two striking new canvases by Mahmoud Abbod, who depicts giantesses looming within scenes of historical Baghdad
Two striking new canvases by Mahmoud Abbod, who depicts giantesses looming within scenes of historical Baghdad
A vibrant new painting from Abdelqadir Hassan Elmobark, which shows a departure from his usual medium of watercolour and smaller scale works
A vibrant new painting from Abdelqadir Hassan Elmobark, which shows a departure from his usual medium of watercolour and smaller scale works
Incredibly detailed and surreal scenes by Moosa Al Haylan
Incredibly detailed and surreal scenes by Moosa Al Haylan
Khalid Al Banna's vibrant abstractions
Khalid Al Banna's vibrant abstractions
Abstract works by Layla Juma
Abstract works by Layla Juma
New calligraphic sculpture by Jalal Luqman
New calligraphic sculpture by Jalal Luqman
Paintings by renowned artist, Abdul Qader Al Rais
Paintings by renowned artist, Abdul Qader Al Rais
Portraits by Hamed Alhenawi
Portraits by Hamed Alhenawi
An installation by Khalil Abdulwahid, recreating an artist's studio environment and featuring artworks by numerous other GCC artists
An installation by Khalil Abdulwahid, recreating an artist's studio environment and featuring artworks by numerous other GCC artists
unknown
unknown
 

Ruben Sanchez takes on the ING Creative Community Wall

Capsule Arts' pick of the weekend is most definitely this live art event organised by Dubai-based non-profit creative community ING. Prominent Spanish graffiti artist Ruben Sanchez will be painting a large mural in public on a JLT exterior wall from 2pm-6pm tomorrow, Friday 13 Feb. The event is free to the public and more information can be found here. As well as being a colourful addition to the area, the mural serves as a reminder of the thriving creative community within Dubai.

Ruben's mural is already underway and he's making great progress...

In progress collage
In progress collage

If you're not already familiar with Ruben, the artist hails from Madrid and in 2013 was an artist-in-residence at Tashkeel in Dubai. Since then he's been taking over the UAE with his colourful and surreal artworks, which really do have a life of their own. Our favourite new addition to Dubai might just be Catzilla...

catzilla
catzilla

Throughout his artwork you can find inspiration from Mediterranean life, graphic design, flamenco, graffiti, cubism, reclaimed materials and objects, skateboarding, 80’s music, surrealism, and contemporary society in general.

collage 2
collage 2

Speaking about his art, Ruben says, “I’m interested in reviving old spaces, in resurrecting stuff, giving life to dead boring things through colours, creatures, or silly faces. Where there’s an abandoned factory, a cut tree or a dead train, there were humans before messing it all up. Sometimes I try to make that footprint nicer. Sometimes I paint on clean walls and white canvases too.”

We had the pleasure of working with Ruben in 2013 for one of our bespoke projects; he created some vibrant, site-specific murals for Salero Tapas & Bodego restaurant in Kempinski Hotel Mall of the Emirates.

Aside from this cool community event, ING also hosts talks, workshops, and portfolio reviews for creatives in the region. Other upcoming events include a large conference which will take place on March 27th and 28th, 2015, featuring a range of international creatives speaking.

Images courtesy ING & Ruben Sanchez