The general manager of Opera Gallery Dubai, which has just opened at Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Bertrand Epaud agreed: "We applied and we were turned down. I was really disappointed."
"We are the ones that have invested money, time and trust that this region has a future in terms of art and we have come here, taken the risk but been rejected - this is something I don't understand."
"We've been bringing major artworks from around the world; these same artworks will be in the other galleries [accepted from international markets] that haven't spent a penny," he complained, adding that he would not attend Art Dubai, which will be held from March 18-21 2009 at Madinat Jumeirah.
Art Dubai education and project manager Laura Trelford defended the fair, explaining that the selection process was impacted by space constraints and a need to "bring an international art community to see what is happening in Dubai".
Trelford said: "We have hundreds of applications from galleries internationally, and if we just had local galleries represented then we wouldn't get the international audience that we do. It would be impossible to have representation from every gallery in Dubai.
"It's about bringing artists and galleries from across the world together here and responding to local galleries as well. That's why we have the Art Bus, which brings people from the fair to the Creek, and we have tours and make sure we have events that are separate to the art fair itself," said Trelford.
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Ricardo Dec 17, 2008 01:37 pm
just want to comment, it happened kind of same thing in Bilbao when Guggenheim was opening and local artists, art universities and local galleries wanted to be in there. Sorry, it is no the place for them there, and I don think Art Dubai is place for local galleries here to be in. It wants to be a reference in Art and Dubai Galleries and exhibitions are not. There is a FUTURE of course, but not present or past up to a level of artists we expect for Art Dubai. Parallel venues might be appropriate for promoting Dubai art and or Dubai Galleries.
Also I must say, I am glad to know that it is not a matter of money this time, but assets and hard work to be in the picture. Best luck for the Art scene in Dubai, hopefully we work base on talent and not on Janes' money.