Bidoun, some might say, has done for Middle Eastern contemporary art what Sex And The City did for Manolo Blahnik. OK, that’s probably a smidge over the top, but it’s true that the arts organisation has helped our locally grown creative types branch further afield than their robust niche following.
Based here in Dubai, Beirut, Cairo and New York, Bidoun has been promoting Middle Eastern culture since 2003. In addition to a quarterly magazine, it also commissions artists and organises exhibitions and events, which brings us to its latest endevour. In keeping with their Flower-themed Spring issue, Bidoun has teamed up with Time Out fave S*auce to further fulfill its mandate of sharing the work of young artists with the masses.
As part of the collaboration, three posters have been commissioned from Middle Eastern artists and they’re available to you. ‘This is more free art than affordable art,’ says Antonia Carver, Bidoun’s Dubai-based editor at large and director of Bidoun Projects. A poster is yours free with any purchase from S*uce or if you buy a copy of Bidoun (Dhs48) at Art Dubai (until March 21) or the Bastikya Art Fair (until March 22).
The artwork featured is an eclectic mix. Yto Barrada, who is based in Morocco, produced a graphic pattern of a seed-bomb, which you can fold into origami too. Babak Radboy who was born in Tehran, but is now based in New York, developed the eye-twitching optical illusion piece that, close up, looks like dots and becomes Van Gogh’s Sunflowers as you back away. The final poster (pictured) is a dramatic still life by Shirana Shahbazi, who also orginates from Tehran.
S*uce has also taken the flower theme to heart and decorated their Dubai Mall and Village Mall boutiques with blooms galore. The installation was designed by UAE-based artist, Lema Alireza who has used multimedia and collage to stick with the floral theme. They’ve also commissioned a number of ‘wearable art’ pieces by Rami Al Ali, Maison Rabih Kayrouz, Bil Arabi, and Meher & Riddhima. We think it’s bloomin’ marvellous.