Business Art by Metastoric at Foundry Downtown Dubai explored the NFT world

Light shines on Metastoric’s Business Art exhibition.

Mohammad Yusuf, Feature Writer

Foundry, the hybrid and progressive art space in Downtown Dubai, hosted its first exhibition to herald this year’s art season, launching Business Art by Metastoric (January 17 – February 25). Metastoric is a new initiative working at the intersection of contemporary art and cryptocurrency that connects art objects to NFTs to create disruptive exhibitions and immersive experiences. Addressing the entanglements of art, life and business in the contemporary, Business Art treated NFTs as a medium. The artworks, ranging from sculptures to videos, paintings, drawings and found objects, were linked to NFTs minted on OpenSea – which were dropped on opening night and remained available for the duration of the exhibition . Curated by anonymous artist known as Prestige Villain, Business Art brought together international and UAE-based artists including Mays Albaik, Mona Ayyash, Ghada Da, Dana Dawud, Rami Farook, MG, Mohamed Khalid, Satwa 3000 and Nada Zanhour.

Their work appeared alongside contributions from Oona Chanel, editor of Author magazine; Sanaz Askari, founder and curator of The Mine; and Bitcoin historian Elias Ahonen. NFT prices varied widely – with the most expensive, titled Sanaz’s Sweat, listed at 777 ETH (approximately $2.5 million at the time of the event).

Here is more information about “dramartis personae”:

Prestige Villain is an anonymous curator, scent connoisseur, and non-digital avatar; Dana Dawud is a Dubai-based freelance visual artist and researcher, who works across different mediums including sound production, podcasts and digital painting and Elias Ahonen is a Finnish-Canadian author, based in Dubai, who has lived and worked around the world while operating a blockchain consultancy. Maxime Cramatte is an artist based in Dubai. His aesthetic emerges from the alleys of old Dubai, where he lives and finds inspiration.


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Rami Farook is an interdisciplinary artist and producer based in Dubai. Since 2002, he creates, organizes, publishes, collaborates, supports and represents. He is also the founder and director of Traffic, a gallery, studio and art center.

Oona Chanel is a serial entrepreneur in the luxury industry. After a successful career as an international model who worked and consulted with most European fashion houses as well as luxury and mass beauty brands, she founded Author Media. The author is the go-to insider’s guide to the industry, bought by established art collectors, CEOs and designers and is considered a collector’s item for many in design and fashion from luxury.

A view of the Business Art exhibit at Foundry.

Khalid (MK) examines the materiality of everyday objects and dissects the ironies embedded in his daily surroundings. MG is a self-taught painter from Singapore. She is interested in contemporary social issues and phenomena and explores themes such as gender and sexuality, family dynamics, and inequalities of wealth and power. She has lived in Dubai since 2016. Mays Albaik is a Palestinian artist with a visual practice that triangulates body, language and place. His early practice developed from the oral narration of his family’s history, the story of his grandfather’s exile from Palestine, and the winding path through geopolitical and cultural landscapes that confronted him. drove her to where she is now: a non-citizen resident of her country of birth. . She was born in 1991 in Abu Dhabi, and lives and works there.

Azrael is an anonymous trio grouped under the same name; The Mine, founded by Sanaz Askari, is an independent commissioning foundation that connects artists with art fairs, collectors and galleries, while Zanhour’s work explores the different dynamics at work within societies – the culture, the media and their technologies, the self and the Other.

DESTABILIZED is an indie music collective of avatars, spun off from the Metaverse. Their cyberpunk aesthetic is influenced by gaming, film and digital art.

To open and close the exhibition, the Metastoric community gathered for a yacht event with artists, collectors and Business Art gallery owners. “Metastoric recognizes the growing need for utilities in the NFT world; for every Business Art NFT sold, the collector received a ticket to participate in one of the exclusive yacht networking events,” says Jodie Marie Rigby, Founder of Metastoric. On February 22, a panel discussion on the connection between the metaverse and the subconscious was organized. Moderated by Isaac Sullivan, it featured Nikki Evans (Mind Health School); Oona Chanel; Dana Daoud; and MG. The participants discussed their respective practices and works; reflected on the contemporary status of the subconscious mind; examined the emerging effects of Web3; and explored the changing status of the unconscious, through past, present and future. The panel also looked at the charitable element of Metastoric for the company, where 5% of profits are donated to produce neurolinguistic programming NLP (mental wellness program), to support artists, entrepreneurs and people in the need. Metastoric was founded in 2021 by Dubai-based British entrepreneur Rigby, who identified new opportunities to support NFTs with physical assets; she is joined by co-founder Lucy Brattan, formerly of online marketplace Jumia Group; it specializes in investment. Looking ahead, Metastoric will continue the Business Art exhibition tour to new countries by exhibiting at NFT LA VIP afterparty and NFT Dubai; he also plans to take the exhibit to the metaverse. Rigby and Brattan will host the local module within NFT Dubai in May. (NFT Dubai is launching a second, larger event in October in Dubai). Artists from the Business Art exhibition will be selected to exhibit at both shows, including Prestige Villain, Satwa 3000, Dana Dawud, Elias Ahonen, MG, Desstabilisers and Azrael.

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