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
 

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

 

An Elephant and a Gentleman

Check out this great video from the very talented Matt Ryder, showing him hard at work on one of eight new artworks that we've commissioned for a new British Gastro Pub opening soon in Downtown Dubai. Matt has created a series of quirky characters in these acrylic paintings, who happen to be both elephants and highly sophisticated gentlemen!

Originally from the UK, Matt is based in Dubai and is well-known for both his witty and beautifully executed caricatures and his powerful wildlife portraits. Matt's love of animals means that they are a frequent subject of his paintings, and he often uses them as a form of playful social critique, as in his series of observations of life in Dubai using an assortment of characters from hyenas to elephants.

These animal portraits often take a more serious turn, like in this recent series of Winston, an African elephant that was killed for its ivory.

Capsule Arts offers a number of prints of Matt's work here, which are all currently on sale until 15 Feb.