Five Artists In The UAE That Should Be On Your Radar

BY Arsalan Mohammad / Apr 6 2020 / 11:00 AM

Inspired by the emirate's cultural scene and part of the third edition of Art Dubai's Residents section, here are five artists currently in the UAE that you need to know about

Five Artists In The UAE That Should Be On Your Radar
Courtesy of the artist
Tonia Nneji. Night Series (3). 2019

Tonia Nneji (Rele Gallery, Lagos)

Tonia Nneji is a Nigerian visual artist, photographer, art blogger, and graffiti artist. Coming from a family of traditional carvers who carved totems and figurines used for traditional worship, Anthonia has always had a natural interest in the arts. Today, her work addresses societal issues including health issues that negatively impact women and children.

Tizta Berhanu (Addis Fine Art, Addis Ababa/London)

Tizta Berhanu is an Ethiopian artist who has worked as a full-time studio artist since her graduation and is constantly experimenting and searching for new ways to find her voice. During her undergraduate degree, Berhanu became fascinated by notions of ‘love’ and began exploring all the facets of this emotion in her work. Inspired by human emotions, subjects in her work most commonly portray love, hate and sadness.

Tizta Berhanu
Tizta Berhanu. Affinity. 2019

Gideon Appah (Gallery 1957, Accra)

Gideon Appah is a Ghanian mixed media artist who draws from personal experiences of life in Accra. In his recent work, Appah responds directly to his upbringing through collaged layers of prints, posters and photographs, creating a narrative from his personal family archive.

Growing up in a large family, the works are reflective of a life characterised by strong emotional bonds, religious activities and folklore.

Gideon Appah
Gideon Appah. Portrait of an Older Couple. 2019

Longinos Nagila (Circle Art Gallery, Nairobi)

Longinos Nagila is an experimental multimedia visual artist living and working in Nairobi, Kenya. Focusing primarily on video art and the exploration of digital imagery, Longinos’ work is influenced by a deep love of early cinema and black and white photography, which he blends with paint and transferred images on paper and canvas.

Nagila’s practice investigates the process and implications of mass production, industrialisation and rapid urbanisation. In his more recent work, he has been examining the relationship between shapes and surfaces.

Longinos Nagila
Nagila Longinos. Untitled IV Fictional Memory. 2018

Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu (Arthouse – The Space, Lagos)

Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu is a Nigerian experimental artist, who utilises varied mediums including digital media, film, painting, photography and sculpture to produce conceptual and thematic works. Her process is in a constant state of flux, as the artist finds the theme of change to be a foundational aspect of her work.

Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu
Yadichinma Ukoha-Kalu. Twins. 2019

Images courtesy of respective galleries, artists and Art Dubai


From the spring 2020 issue of Harper's Bazaar Art