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DUBAI: As art lovers eagerly await the opening of Art Dubai this weekend, Arab News caught up with the fair’s artistic director, Pablo de Val, who discussed what s expect at the 15th edition of the event.

The exhibition will be held at Madinat Jumeirah from March 11-13 and will feature over 100 galleries from 44 countries.

This year’s edition will include Art Dubai Digital, a new section that showcases the world of digital art in a way that makes it accessible to everyone.

Pablo de Val is the artistic director of the fair. (Provided)

De Val told Arab News, “Our intention was to build a bridge between the traditional and digital art worlds, and create an intersection of all generations where we conceptualize something that has been around since the 1980s through to the most recent expressions.

The exhibition will also feature its regular gallery sections of Contemporary, Modern and Bawwaba.

A new series of “Bybit Talks” exploring the fundamentals of the digital art world have been added to this year’s Global Art Forum.

LoVid, ‘Hugs on Tape’, 2021. (Supplied)

Art Dubai’s commission of artists for 2022, Fernando Garcia-Dory, will create a new work of art, “Inland”, examining the city’s past, present and future.

Visitors and the public will also be able to discover the work of the Spanish artist in different places in Dubai.

De Val discussed COVID-19 concerns while discussing preparations for this edition of the exhibition.

Muhammad Nafay, The Falling Astronaut, 2020. (Supplied)

“I think it would be strange not to refer to the pandemic at this point,” he said. “One of the wonderful things about Art Dubai is that it brings people together from all over the world, and that’s also one of the challenges with constantly changing regulations and restrictions.”

He added: “The priority has always been the well-being of our exhibitors and guests, but that has been a very shifting goal.”

Art Dubai has evolved exponentially, according to de Val, starting as an art fair and growing into a community.

Albarrán Bourdais, Marco Castillo, Maria Victoria, 2021. (Supplied)

Today, the artistic director believes that Dubai is seen as a focal point for the arts in the region, with Art Dubai acting as a catalyst for the city’s burgeoning art scene.

De Val said the event helped promote Dubai as a global center for the arts.

“In the past, the Western art scene dominated critical artistic discourse and historically many artists from these regions studied in Paris, New York or London because that was where the best artistic education took place,” said he declared.

“I’m happy to say that’s starting to change, especially for artists in the South, and there are now more opportunities than ever.”

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