Michael Turda

Michael Turda picked up first place at the recent Art Of Can competition. He tells us about his winning painting.

Interview, In the studio

What’s happening in this painting?
It’s about the different nationalities of the UAE all rushing after a diet red bull can. This is supposed to be the last one in the country, and the mob is rushing to get at it. I wanted to show they’ve been running for days. You see Nationals, Indians, British, Filipinos, Pakistanis – but they’re all the same colour, everyone is pale. It’s like a social realism, it shows that all of these people are equal… sort of. Equal in their want for the can.

What is Guhit Pinoy?
It’s a visual arts organisation based in the UAE that I’m a part of. Guhit means stroke, as in when you draw, and Pinoy is slang for Filipino. Right now we’re one of the biggest organisations of this kind in the UAE. We’re planning an exhibition – we talked to an art connoisseur from Manila who is based in Sharjah and he’s going to help us do some exhibits in Dubai for early next year.

So many of the artists involved in The Art Of Can competition were Filipinos. Is there enough Filipino art being seen in Dubai’s galleries?
We don’t get enough exposure. We have the materials, we have the artists, but just not the exposure. There’s some politics to it but I don’t want to comment too much on that. But it’s why competitions like The Art Of Can have become a venue for us to expose our works.


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