Dubai Culture and Arts Authority hosts its first NFT art exhibition

With NFTs at its trendiest best around the world these days, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), too, has ventured into NFT art with its latest exhibition— ‘50/50’.

The exhibition, which is titled so, celebrates UAE’s 50th anniversary and features 50 works made by artists in the UAE.

Collaborating with Morrow Collective, an NFT curatorial platform, the authority is presenting the physical showcase of the artworks at Al Safa Art and Design Library which will commence from January 15.

The first exhibition of its kind to explicitly feature UAE-based artists, the display features creations by artists Khalid Al Banna, Alia Al Gaoud, Dalal Ahmed, Marwan Shakarchi and Gigi Gorlova among others who were chosen through an open call and the NFTs featured range from digital drawings and paintings to 3D works, animation, collages, and photography.

This is the first time that some of the artists have made NFTs, and the works cover a multitude of themes, representing powerful portraits of humanity, abstract musings on the human condition, light-heartedness, powerful messages, and an exercise in pure visual enjoyment.

Non-fungible tokens, or NFTs, burst onto the art scene in a big way in early 2021 when artist Beeple sold his first NFT artwork at Christie’s auction for $69.4 million. An NFT refers to a digital asset tied to the blockchain that functions as a certification of ownership.

The physical iteration of the exhibition bridges the gap between the traditional and the NFT art worlds by showing the pieces of art on digital screens. While pieces by Marwan Shakarchi and Gigi Gorlova have already been sold, among the 50 artworks, there is going to be an auction featuring three Emirati artists that will take place at the end of this month.

Sharing about the exhibition, Dr Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, CEO of the Arts and Literature Sector at Dubai Culture, said, “NFTs are a commodity in the art world that is the result of a rapidly digitalising future, and through our collaboration with MORROW collective, we at Dubai Culture are embracing the use of innovative new solutions within the arts and culture space to support and retain local and UAE-based talent, attract creative individuals from around the world across the arts and culture sector, and make culture and art accessible to everyone, everywhere.”

Cover Image: Dubai Culture | Instagram