Dubai's best known artists

Meet the creative types contributing to the city’s ever-growing variety of exhibitions

Vikram Divecha, artist
Dubai-based Indian artist Vikram Divecha believes he lives in a supportive community for emerging artists and mentions events such as Sikka Art Fair providing a platform for local talent. Early in his career Vikram was given opportunities to exhibit his work by Cuadro and Traffic galleries. The artist, who’s fascinated with urbanisation, has created large, highly industrial works and has found nothing but support and assistance from the community, with consultants, contractors and engineers all offering their time and expertise for free. This generosity has helped him to the extent that a business in Jebel Ali allowed Vikram to use its factory space while he was creating his art. Despite certain reservations about art here in Dubai, overall he paints a positive picture, stating ‘Dubai challenges you and if you’re up for it, it will reward you.’

Hetal Pawani, Director of thejamjar
Having opened almost eight years ago, the woman behind Dubai’s thejamjar has admitted that while her gallery and studio has made mistakes, she has also learnt a lot from these experiences. Having grown up in the city, Hetal believes her involvement in the art scene keeps her anchored to the city. She enjoys the multicultural audience here and relishes the entrepreneurial mindset and support she’s received from corporate organisations and the government. Most of all Hetal feels most fortunate for the opportunity of working alongside Dubai’s talented artists. Looking forward, Hetal has exciting plans about ‘launching new brands and art in public spaces’.

Arne Augustini, Founder and Co-Owner of J+A Gallery
Arne champions industrial antiques, vintage design and German art in Dubai. The ethos behind the idea comes from the quote ‘Am Ursprung gibt es kein Plagiat.’ (At the origin, there is no plagiarism). The German believes that the city still has work to do to become a fully developed market for art. He believes that, ‘to establish a real design and art scene needs dedication, time, money, and education.’ He’s fascinated with Arabic and Islamic culture and is passionate about developing the cultural exchange between the UAE and Germany. Arne, who is dedicated to the idea of leaving a mark on the cultural scene here, describes the city as ‘fascinating, diverse and multifaceted, an exchange point for cultures and ideas and thus unrivalled and exciting’.

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