A thriving art scene in the country motivates a large number of Emirati artists to think about adopting realistic art and genuine expression of one's own self.
They say, good or bad; artists are bound to express their own self.
They made it clear by calling for more realistic works during a book launch organised by the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation.
The first volume of the book The Art of the Emirates explores the vision and the creativity of local artists Khalil Abdul Wahid, Jalal Luqman and Summayah Al Suwaidi.
It highlights leading figures, who helped shape the UAE art scene, through their artistic expression.
"Reality has an immense power on one's talent,” Khalil Abdul Wahid told Khaleej Times.
"You might have something in your mind that you want to express,” he explains, "whether it's good or bad, you must express it, and I do that through my art.”
"I want the viewers to understand that there is a deeper meaning than seeing them just as an image, a painting or a video,” he said.
With the opening of the Louvre on the shores of Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi at the end of 2015, as well as Guggenheim in the works for 2017, artists say the time is ripe enough to showcase UAE art as the art world is rapidly growing across the region.
"The time is excellent for the Emirati art to get richer,” Jalal Luqmam told Khaleej Times. "However, it might become challenging as art is rapidly growing all over the region. Although one may feel that art comes naturally, the key element for an artist is to stay true and authentic. I try to express my own ideas and keep my work as close to what I feel inside,” explained Jalal.
Jalal believes that art and reality should be joined as one. This impression parallels to the 19th century French Realism painters like Jean Gustave Courbet, who insisted on not depicting the ideal but the reality of his time.
"Reality isn't always beautiful, thus art doesn't necessarily have to look beautiful, it should just speak the truth,” Jalal points out.
Jalal added: "The challenge would be to maintain our identity. The Louvre for example, will have an impact on local artists and local tastes”.
Summaya Al Suwaidi, also believes in being an honest artist.
"My art is like my personal diary, it is a representation of my daily life,” she told Khaleej Times.
Al Suwaidi said: "UAE art is growing, and it's growing too fast that we might neglect to differentiate between the real artists and the wannabes.”
However, everyone agree that Emirati art is on right track and Abu Dhabi is transforming as one of the leading art centres of the world.
"The nation always knew that the art movement would sooner or later progress in the UAE, which is evident through all these local talents,” Khalil said.
Source: Khaleej Times