Dubai Art Season to exhibit Damien Hirst artwork and 20 UAE-based artists at MEFCC2014

DUBAI: Dubai Art Season, the city’s umbrella arts initiative launched by the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), will mark the second global appearance of the Art Wars exhibit, exclusively at the Middle East Film and Comic Con (MEFCC) 2014.

Part of MEFCC, a pillar event under Dubai Art Season, Art Wars will involve 20 U.A.E. based artists applying their creative flair and individual styles to customise the classic Storm Trooper helmet made famous in the Star Wars films, while serving as a timeless pop culture icon.

The original exhibit was the brainchild of Andrew Ainsworth of Shepperton Design Studios, who has worked on over 70 feature films and was the original prop designer from the first film, “Star Wars: A New Hope” in 1977.

“The original concept of Art Wars was to see how contemporary artists would treat such an iconic pop culture image such as the Storm Trooper helmet that I created almost 40 years ago,” said Ainsworth. “With communication and entertainment now mixing world cultures, I can’t wait to see the results of Art Wars Dubai.” The exhibit will be curated by Emirati urban artist and toy designer, Mohammed Abedin, and will feature artists with various styles and levels of experience, including some of the more established names in the U.A.E. art scene such as Mohammed Al Mubarak, Jalal Luqman, Matar bin Lahej, Mohammed Kanoo, Ruben Sanchez, and El Seed alongside up-and-coming artists and creative talent.

Khalil Abdulwahid, Manager of Visual Arts, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, said, “Dubai Art Season has been designed to integrate the community into the city’s burgeoning art scene, where residents and visitors to Dubai can truly appreciate the emerging talent that resides here. Art Wars will serve as the platform to watch old artistic styles blend seamlessly with newer trends that are being embraced by our artists.” Having featured previously only at the Saatchi Gallery in London in October of 2013, the exhibit was a huge success and one of the best attended exhibits in recent times, according to Ben Caddy, Managing Director of MEFCC.

“It’s an honour to be only the second venue in the world to feature the exhibit and to have the Damien Hirst piece for display and auction alongside our regional artists definitely makes it extra special,” said Caddy. “We’re really excited to be a part of Dubai Art Season and this kind of initiative fits perfectly with what we’re trying to achieve in giving regional talent a strong platform and raising the profile of Dubai as a cultural hub.” The Art Wars exhibit will be on display in the Bloomingdale Atrium in Dubai Mall from March 20th to 30th and then again during the MEFCC before being put up for auction on April 5th.