‘Not Only Digital’ at Oblong Contemporary Art Gallery in Dubai, Bluewaters Island

The exhibition, curated by Gallerist Paola Marucci, consists of tangible and non-tangible artworks: digital art and material art meet in one exhibition through the works of Annalù, Marco Lodola and Emre Namyeter. Oblong Gallery thus presents the two horizons of art collecting today, the more traditional one based on unique, visible, and materially existing artworks, and that of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), works created on a digital medium.

‘Not Only Digital’ featuring works by Annalù, Marco Lodola and Emre Namyeter is the exhibition opening on March 7, 2023, at Oblong Contemporary Art Gallery in Dubai, Bluewaters Island, where it will remain open until April 30, 2023.

NFTs works are revolutionizing the world of art collecting and putting crypto art on a track of global interest. What distinguishes NFT works, apart from being non-tangible works, is the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency in which they take place: a virtual universe that is generating a whole new collectionism in the international art scene. A potential and evolving space that sees, from a modern perspective, the breaking of the barrier of owning an artwork only when it is tangible. And, while we see the development of the creation and circulation of virtual artworks, even of high value that are exchanged and acquired using cryptocurrencies and blockchains, we also see the creation of galleries, also personal ones, in the Metaverse, where NFT artworks can be displayed. Although they are not “tangible,” NFTs are authentic, unique, original, and guaranteed works that allow, not least, for a fruitful investment. Visual Art, as it has always been, and as nowadays is also confirmed through the virtual tools and spaces, has, and will always have, a great intrinsic as well as artistic value, whether tangible or non-tangible.

Annalù is an Italian artist who lives and works in Venice; her works, Dreamcatchers, are closely related to the world of nature. They are works that evoke Indian dreamcatchers, which with their openwork texture recall the metamorphosis of butterflies, and where the natural elements as water and air contaminate and permeate each other. Designed by the artist, the butterflies composing her sculpture’s poetic are generated, as in a mandala, from a central ring that represents the most precious part of the work, consisting of a Murano glass disc made with an exclusive technique developed by the artist. The butterfly, which represents grace and beauty, lightness and metamorphosis, is chosen by Annalù for its strong symbolism related to the soul.

In the Dubai exhibition, Annalù presents four large sculptures, three Dreamcatchers and a large bronze sculpture, Flying feet. Exhibited alongside the sculptures, and displayed through special screens, are Annalù’s NFT works: two digital versions of Dreamcatchers and one of Flying Feet, the works are an explosion of virtual beauty, a hymn to an imagined, paradisiacal world made of color and moving forms, and enclosed in an effective virtual reality, with all the fascination that this world evokes. Annalù’s NFTs present that ephemeral beauty which defines the rest of her production.

Marco Lodola, is one of Italy’s most influential artists, known for his extraordinary Pop light sculptures. He links his art to one of his greatest passions: the 1950s and the quintessential icons of that period: from the very Italian Vespa to Pin-Ups and down to vintage automobiles with big snouts and super-redundant bodies. Lodola takes his inspiration from the modern and contemporary world, from the history that has just passed but has already left its traces. To this world, Lodola, imprints his vision, a vision where forms are simplified and synthesized, as well as emphasized by sharp and absolute chromes, strong and contrasting colors. In his works, Marco Lodola incorporates neon or LED lights, thus transforming them into striking lighting sculptures. Marco Lodola is famous for his many international exhibitions, from the Venice Biennale to the Centre Pompidou in Paris, as well as in Argentina, Mexico, Singapore, and Hong Kong.

But, in particularly, the Italian artist, has achieved over the years many collaborations in the world of entertainment, cinema, TV and fashion: called by the Maison Dior in Paris, Lodola has created an extraordinary project for the important French fashion brand. Chosen by the creative director, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Dior’s 400 boutiques around the world hosted Marco Lodola’s light installations. In Dubai, at the Oblong Gallery, Lodola presents three of his emblematic works-Airplane, Couple on a Vespa, Love.

Emre Namyeter is a Turkish artist who lives and works in Istanbul, in the exhibition NOT ONLY DIGITAL he presents his luminous works that complete the ideal exhibition itinerary of the show organized and promoted by Oblong Contemporary Art Gallery for its Dubai venue on Bluewaters Island, an exhibition that connects the three artists, whose visions and works create a multidisciplinary exhibition.

Namyeter is a light art sculptor and is among the most interesting in the current global contemporary art scene. He studied in Salzburg, Austria, and San Francisco. In Montreal, Canada, he focused on electronic art, a technique that allows him to compose abstract works that are characterized using various techniques guided by his experimental approach that generates multilayered paintings. What appears especially interesting in Namyeter works is the viewer’s perception of his artwork, a perception that changes under different light conditions and that makes Namyeter’s works unique in all aspects, but particularly for this floating of color that moves and changes with the rhythm of light and in varying perspectives. The artist, like Aristotle, says that “in dark moments we must search for light.” An important message that links his artworks to a sensory perception.

For Oblong Emre Namyeter created the works: Lightbox Sculpture Edition Series; Wall Lightbox Series (120cm diameter); Wall Lightbox Series (color changing); Wall Lightbox Series – (150cm diameter).

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