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Published: Thursday, August 03, 2017   English | العربية  



By Sana Panjwan

Love original art pieces, but don’t have a huge budget? Innovative new online marketplace artsmiley.com might be the answer…

with the UAE's array of successful, quick leaps in various felds over the years, it is often easy to forget that the country is only 46 years old, and yet it has come to establish a strong foothold in many international circles.

Recent years, for instance, have seen the start of a burgeoning art scene in the UAE, with numerous galleries and art initiatives springing up – or about to – left and right, offering a platform of opportunity and exposure for established as well as upand-coming artists.

Notable venues include Warehouse421, the NYUAD Art Gallery, Dubai Design District, Abu Dhabi Art, Art Week, Art Dubai, Guggeinheim Abu Dhabi, and the Louvre Abu Dhabi.

BRIDGING A GAP

In response to this quickly growing art scene, the start of this year saw the launch of artsmiley.com, a homegrown, innovative online marketplace – regional and wider – for art lovers on a budget. Owning an inspiring and original piece of art is no longer just for the privileged then.

“[artsmiley.com] IS A SOCIAL SERVICE THAT ALLOWS US TO BRING UNKNOWN TALENTS FROM ALL OVER TO THE FORE, AND PRESERVE THE CULTURE AND TRADITIONS OF ART”

"Art is used as a platform to share feelings and emotions which are open to all, either for appreciation or to be relatable," explained Lurdh Allam, co-founder of artsmiley.com with his entrepreneurial wife, Aruna Allam.

The business was set up with a vision to make art accessible and affordable to every community and bring upcoming artists and artseekers together in one marketplace.

The Dubai-based duo wanted to offer a platform for artists – local and international – looking to showcase their work, and help them establish a reputation in the competitive art world. At the same time, they wanted to address the problems of everyday art-seekers who wish to decorate their home without breaking the bank. "These are the two key reasons behind founding artsmiley.com," explained Allam.

"I'm an avid art lover and have seen these issues frst-hand, so when I saw a market opportunity to bring both upcoming artists and art seekers from all over the world together, I jumped right on it," he added.

The company provides an extremely user-friendly platform, keeping in mind the requirements of both artists and art seekers. Any artist anywhere can freely register their profle and upload works for sale – published only after the verifcation and curation of their prices.

NOVEL CONCEPT

Users then have the option of selling, buying and even renting art on a monthly basis – a bonus for those who get bored of looking at the same artwork on their walls for a long period.

Currently, the website features over 500 pieces of work from more than 80 artists worldwide with many hailing from the region, but each with their own unique outlook on the world.

The original artworks on the platforms then range widely in medium, style and subject including paintings, prints, photography, mixed media as well as sculptures.

Styles, on the other hand, cover abstract, street art, fgurative, pop art, expressionistic, illustrative, geometric, calligraphy, and nature. “This is not just a business for us, it is a social service that allows us to bring unknown talents from all over to the fore, and preserve the culture and traditions of art,” said Allam.

"Recent months have seen a huge increase in traffc from both artist and art-seeking communities around the world.

"And by bringing up-and-coming artists in the lime light and showcasing their talents to the public, at an affordable price, we will hopefully expand the art community by reaching beyond connoisseurs and enthusiasts, and introduce and welcome new communities into the fold," he added.

And who knows, as a buyer, you might inadvertently pick-up an original piece by a future big name – for a bargain.

WIDER BUSINESS

As well as being the link between artists and art buyers, the site also provides specialist services to corporates, hospitality, and residential sectors. Advisory services include curation – choosing artworks from artsmiley.com’s selected artist community around the world to create the ambiance desired by a client.

The start-up has already partnered with Double Tree Hilton at Bay Square, Business Bay, Dubai where there will be a physical space for UAE artists to exhibit their works right through the year. Check out artsmiley.com for a gander at their available collection.
 
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