“In terms of a lifestyle philosophy – I don’t believe that a scene has to captured on canvas, framed and hung on a wall to be called ‘Art’. Art is all around us and we are all receptive to visual and intellectual artistry.”
Talk to us a little bit about Gallery One. What is it and how did it come about?
Gallery One is a cultural retailer. We sell products which have artistic or design components which are derived from the Arabic world. It’s a format which resonates with residents and visitors who are looking for a quality memento of the region. Many of the products are designed by our own product design team based in the Dubai Design District – others are sourced from places as diverse as the V&A in London and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Our vision is to expand Gallery One into major Cities throughout the world and wherever there is an appetite for culturally based products with provenance and authenticity.
From what age did you develop an interest in art?
From a very young age, I was interesting in framing a scene by holding my fingers to form a rectangle. My interest in photography was driven by a passion for good composition and capturing moments in time. As a teenager, I was drawn to the work of portrait photographer Arnold Newman and street photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson.
You divide your time between London and Dubai. Do you see any differences in art in each place?
The Art scene in Dubai is highly dynamic and like the City itself, developing exponentially. In London, the Art world is obviously more established with the advantage of National galleries and museums. Places like Al Serkal Avenues in Al Quoz are refreshingly different and will attract a whole new audience to the Arts by being accessible and welcoming to all.
Talk to us about the process of picking an idea and then doing something with that very idea. Has it been difficult in the past?
Like every creative person – I find ‘getting started’ the most difficult thing. Execution of an idea can be rapid once a path has been defined. As I grow older, I have learned not to panic if ideas don’t come quickly – I have also learned that often the first idea is the best.
You believe in “art in everything”. When and how did this become your motto? How do you live your everyday life thinking this?Art in Everything is a mantra which we apply to our procurement strategy in Gallery One. The definition of Art is wide and can include a simple design idea or a celebrated painting – we use these qualities as a basis for product development. In terms of a lifestyle philosophy – I don’t believe that a scene has to captured on canvas, framed and hung on a wall to be called ‘Art’. Art is all around us and we are all receptive to visual and intellectual artistry.
Within this digital age, what have you seen as beneficial with Gallery One in showcasing Artists as brands?
Artists can create a brand profile and, if properly executed, leverage brand equity as a consequence. Instagram and other social networks can assist in this process of brand-building. Through cataloguing, product presentation and other marketing collateral, the perceived value of an Artist is enhanced.
Where do you see the art space developing in the future?
The digital world and the desire for immediacy and information will change the way we receive ‘Art’. We’ll be able to visit the great galleries of the world as well as smaller events without travelling to far off destinations. Virtual reality and augmented reality will enable real-time insights and information on a work of art. Exhibitions will take place without the artwork actually being on-site. Whilst there’s nothing like seeing the real thing – these innovations will enable a wider audience to access and experience the world of art.