Chair, Abraaj Group Art Prize
This prize marks the 10th anniversary of The Abraaj Group’s dedication to supporting artists in the region. How have you seen the art market and artists develop in the last decade?
There has been very positive and productive development of the whole regional cultural ecosystem in the last decade. So many wonderful advancements have been made since the founding of Art Dubai and the establishment of the Abraaj Group Art Prize. Of course, there has always been a history of rich cultural production, great artists, hardworking practitioners and remarkable institutions in the region, but we have to acknowledge the progress in the last decade, particularly in the Gulf. We now have a thriving cultural landscape full of talented artists, wonderful galleries, and sophisticated institutions and programming.
Why is winning the Abraaj Group Art Prize significant to an artist’s career? How does an AGAP artist stand out in the art world?
The Abraaj Group Art Prize offers artists the opportunity to work on an ambitious dream project. The Prize offers generous production support that gives artists the ability to push their practice in new and exciting ways. There is not enough production support for artists from the MENASA region. In this way, Abraaj provides essential opportunities to the most talented artists from the region.
What would you like the public to take away from visiting the exhibition at Art Dubai?
I'm sure that visitors who come to Art Dubai immediately understand that there is a vibrant cultural community, with talented artists and smart practitioners working to realize projects that have the power to transform audiences. Artist voices are important. They contribute to social change and progress. This cultural ecosystem is an essential part of bringing people together and nurturing a healthy society.