Urban Art Festival brings colour to Dubai’s oldest shopping mall

Hot on the heels of the fantastic Street Night Art outdoor ‘gallery’ in Al Quoz comes another art event well worth checking out – the Street Con Urban Art Fest. A collection of installations, displays and graffiti, it brings together 15 artists to showcase their work down at the Al Ghurair Centre, in Deira, every afternoon and evening from February 5 to 15.

The art fest has been curated by Rollan Rodriguez, also known by his artist moniker Dogboy, who said that “the greater population may not know how rich Deira is in terms of culture and diversity”. Rollan added: “It’s a perfect incubator for art, it’s the original ‘urban’ community.”

The founder of Brownmonkeys, an art and design collective based in Dubai, Rollan said that urban art was so intertwined to everyday life that it was almost undetected. “Urban art is created by artists living, depicting or experiencing city life,” he explained. “This may be the illustration on your T-shirt, the design of your sneaker or the shape of your toys. The artist’s responsibility is to amplify these visual cues and reinterpret them.”

The programme of art events is varied throughout the festival. Illustrator and painter Victoria Viray-Ganzon decorates The Wall over a four-day stretch from 2pm to 10pm starting February 5. Her pop-surrealist mural will become a permanent feature in the centre of Deira.

Artists Enforce One, Dogboy, Pinkblot, Darwin Guevarra and Def form an art tag-team throughout the duration of the festival, painting daily from 4pm to 10pm, to create Exquisite Corpse. They’ll each paint one section of the piece with no idea what the others have done before them.

And check out Toy Jam, between 2pm and 10pm on February 7, when artists come together to customise ten figures to show life in Deira.

Al Ghurair Centre, Al Rigga Road, Deira, February 5 to 15, daily 2pm to 10pm, free. Metro: Union Station. alghuraircentre.com