Artist spotlight: Idriss B
Meet the sculptor adding life and colour to Dubai’s streets…
Over the past two years, the work of artist and sculptor Idriss B has become synonymous with Dubai’s cityscape. Parisian-born, Dubai-based Idriss B is renowned for his eccentric style, impressive collaborations, and vibrant polygonal animal-shaped structures.
When you think of the artist, maybe it’s the flying gorilla being helicoptered through Dubai Marina that first springs to mind, or the turtles of Jumeirah Al Naseem, or the extraordinary falcon overlooking Atlantis, The Palm.
Idriss B has shown an interest in art since childhood, working as a visual merchandiser for luxury brands, including Dior, Moncler, and Louis Vuitton for over a decade. But it wasn’t until moving to Dubai that he was inspired to create his own sculptures, launching The Art Collection in 2015, with the gorilla, Mojo.
“It is the daily life that inspires me the most: the mix between cultures, the technology, and the nature that is all over Dubai, between the sea on the Palm, the desert, and the mountains, it is truly this mix of everything and that is what makes it so special and interesting to me,” he told What’s On.
The UAE Golden Visa awarded artist aims to evoke different emotions and feelings with each animal sculpture, hoping the public relate and recognise parts of themselves in each piece.
Idriss B talks us through his creative practice which starts with extensive research to accurately reflect the character of the animal, including facial expression, stance, size, and colour. Then, a sketch followed by 3D printing and from there he will make a clay mould. Depending on the size of the project, this process usually takes around five months.
Those interested in buying a sculpture for themselves can create a custom piece on Idriss B’s website. Collectors can expect to pay between Dhs100k and Dhs150k for a metre-high bear named Baloo, or Dhs50k to Dhs70k for a tabletop version of a crocodile called Dundee. Previous high-profile clients of the contemporary artist include Lindsay Lohan, Akon, Snoop Dogg, and Ja Rule.
Dubai’s booming art scene has been a great platform for Idriss B who has continued to gain popularity around the globe with an exhibition in New York featuring his most recent project, a t-rex, showcased on Park Avenue.
What’s next? Idriss B teased upcoming collaborations we must look forward to, including a project with NusrEt (otherwise known as Salt Bae), a luxury yacht company, and a jewellery brand.