Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Michelangelo’s David and Raphael’s The School of Athens are among the many distinguished artworks by world-celebrated artists to have emerged through a period of radical upheaval; as the European civilisation began its transformation from the middle ages to a new era of modernity, the subsequent role and splendour of Renaissance Art eternally revolutionised and cemented the significance of art in history.
Charlie Villagracia. Digital composite. 2020
As we admire, decipher, study and safeguard the masterpieces from our distant past, history has proven the unparalleled influence an artwork holds – to soothe, unite and document.
With an unsettling time upon us yet again and a seemingly uncertain future, people have taken to innovating and expressing their solidarity through art.
Charlene Reyford. Artwork. 2020
Dubai-based Art Painting Lab’s #UnitedArtEmirates initiative is a response to the glimmer of hope seen during these desperate times, an uplifting initiative with a call to channel the spirit of togetherness through art.
The art consultancy and service provider firm has launched a community art collaboration, asking the diverse international community of the UAE; experts and amateurs alike, to unleash their artistic flair and share their visual art pieces.
Danielle Owen. Series of portraits
“Historically, art renaissances occur during tremendous events, and often incredible art comes out of them,” says Sam Saliba, founder of Art Painting Lab.
“I believe the way artists can contribute and propel people into socio-emotional recovery is by engaging with society and expressing with and laying out platforms for interactive social participation and expression.”
Aiming for 2,020 contributions of artworks by the 30 August 2020 deadline, submissions are open for all ages and can be shared across Instagram with the #UnitedArtEmirates tag or emailed directly to Art Painting Lab.
Melissa Boo-Santarin. Digital drawing. 2020
With no specific theme outlined, the artworks submitted as of yet range from the glaring scenario of the current pandemic-infused world and its applauded heroes to broader visuals of ambiguous abstracts, self-portraits, nature and skylines.
With a simple rule to be culturally respectful, in line with the country’s values, the contributed artworks will be combined and used to paint public murals in a symbolic act to showcase the resilience and inspiring spirit of UAE’s residents during a period of turbulent uncertainty.
Reine Jalloul. Cartoon artwork. 2020
"I believe we humans are born with a creative instinct and that creative instinct is active during major life challenges, as currently the case globally,” says Saliba.
“I see that to be true because we all witness how people are creatively engaged, reinventing their roles, businesses and mindsets, exploring and sharing humour, relatable moments and visual output of all kinds.
It is in the realm of art and creative engagement that people find purpose, refuge and hope. And it is in the creative space where we see our own resiliency, inventiveness and adaptability.” unitedartemirates.com
Images courtesy of Art Painting Lab
From the summer 2020 issue of Harper's BAZAAR Art