Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 25 August 2019

Dh30,000 Swarovski crystal-clad artworks of UAE leaders go on sale in Dubai

A new exhibition of Natalie Daghestani's 'crystyled' pieces go on display at Fairmont Dubai today

A new exhibition has launched in the lobby of Fairmont Dubai, with crystal-embellished artworks depicting four UAE leaders, marking the beginning of Ramadan and celebrating the Year of Tolerance.

The portraits are of Sheikh Zayed, the Founding Father, the President, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, and Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

Look through the photo gallery above to see more of the artworks.

The eye-catching, hand-crafted pieces are by British artist Natalie Daghestani, who is based in Dubai and owns a studio called Brush Strokes And Bling. Each piece contains about 350,000 individually applied Swarovski crystals and pearls, and Japanese glass crystal beads. They took 480 hours, which equates to about three months, each to make.

Daghestani creates her portraits by first pencilling the outline of her subject’s features, then dividing the picture into groups of colour before bedecking them with jewels, a technique she calls “crystyling”. She explained all this to The National in 2015, after she created the first three of her portraits, adding that she had previously made Blackberry phone covers for Kim and Khloe Kardashian.

“I’ve always associated crystals with magic and beauty,” she said. “They bring a flat picture to life, sparkling and dancing in the light.”

The exhibition, which is called the Year of Tolerance, will be on display in the lobby at Fairmont Dubai from May 5 to August 2.

All of the artworks are available for purchase, each costing Dh30,000.

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Updated: May 5, 2019 03:31 PM

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