Saturday, October 6, 2012

Who is representing whom?? ARTE

It is the 2nd month of the Art Season in Dubai with @ARTE back in full swing this time too.

Oops! This is no place to help recession recover!

My visit yesterday to the festival was one to cherish as it was an opportunity to connect with local Artists. An excellent pool of Fine Artists, Jewelry makers, paper crafts men etc. I use the word pool because there were so many of them.

Arte is a good place for new artists to showcase themselves but if they are thinking of selling their works they better sell only their prints or duplicates because nobody wants to spend more than $25 dollars for any piece. That too a weekend family-crowd who wants to get handicrafts and artworks at throw-away prices. It was interesting to notice, crowds gather in front of artists' tables if the offer is free or next to nothing. So if one wants to give away for goodwill purposes this is the place to be. These days it is so over-crowded with artist-participations that some are provided showcase-space wherever there is a pillar in the mall however far it is from the perimeter of the main fair. Too bad the last time I was allocated space it was a sad location I wouldn't want to mention here. But I was okay as I was not there to sell but to network with fellow-artists. All said and done that became my last presence there.

But what if an artist is there counting on selling some pieces to make a living!? O dear! Talk about treating art lesser than a commodity. My take is that it does not benefit the artist but the organization facilitating such an event who charges $75 approximately to artists who want to display their works for a max of 3-5 hours....and the public who visit a typical flea-market/garage sale scenario.

In horror I also noticed that I seemed to be one of the few or the only person around there holding an authorized license to practice and showcase my work. Wow!!

And so I decided this is not a place for a licensed artist to showcase among 150 or more artists most of whom have no license to practice and are doing this as part-time and who have still been given a platform to conduct business, paying 20 times less than I am to just exist here as an artist.  If the proceeds went for a noble cause I am game for this.....else what is the message here? Something to ponder upon. Really to ponder upon in this age where our young ones have to college-graduate really well to make a living in art in order to get competitive. When the rules of the game is not only to have talent but to be university educated to pull some serious strings.

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