x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Ghaf Gallery's Ramadan Bazaar offers affordable art

With low prices and an intimate setting, it is an excellent place for aspiring art collectors to begin.

With a few days to go until the end of the Holy Month, there's still time to check out the Ramadan Art Bazaar at the Ghaf Art Gallery in Khalidiya, Abu Dhabi.

The annual event, which is in its fifth year, offers art lovers a chance to pick up work by local artists at a fraction of the original price.

Curated by the acclaimed Abu Dhabi artist Sumayyah Al Suwaidi, the piece features the work of 20 UAE-based artists whose styles span everything from Impressionism to pop art. The best part is none of the featured works costs more than Dh4,000.

It is also an excellent opportunity to purchase work by artists experimenting with styles outside their comfort zone. One painter going out on a limb is Neena Rai.

Known for her vibrant strokes, the Dubai artist scaled it down considerably with her three featured works.

"This is definitely a different side of me," she says. "People know me for my bright colours and my pieces are usually striking, but these are more minimal."

Rai's painting Set Your Soul Free, along with her "autumn" and "spring" pieces, are sold separately but can be combined to form a brooding set.

Meanwhile, Jasmin Ruhling's pop art grabs you at first glance.

Using pieces of furniture as a canvas, the Sharjah-based artist is making her bazaar debut with six works.

Ruhling says her work does not only attract attention, but also conveys a deeper message about her roots: "I am half-German, half-Egyptian. A lot of my work is about the East meeting West, so it's a mix between Andy Warhol and myself. I've even mixed Arabic comic books in one of my works."

Ruhling hopes the low prices and the gallery's intimate setting will encourage aspiring art collectors.

She offers advice for those looking to purchase their first piece of art: "Whatever captures your eyes first, go for it. Art is an expression by someone else, and sometimes it's quite easy to over-analyse what you're looking at. The best thing to do is follow your heart."

The Ramadan Art Bazaar is running until August 28 at the Ghaf Art Gallery, 30th (Khaleej Al Arabi) Street, between 7th and 9th Streets. For more information, visit http://ghafgallery.blogspot.com.

sasaeed@thenational.ae