Slava Nour sheds light on the Emirati art world through Arte & Lusso . magazine

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Mohamed Yousif Features starter

Slava Nour is the editor of Arte & Lusso online magazine, which focuses on art, fashion, luxury and travel. She is also the Foundation for Emirates Photographers of Goodwill and Ocean Lovers. Her passion for diving, her love of the sea made her the author of The Pink Mask, a book on the topics of global warming and plastic pollution. It is the story of a girl named Ula, who discovers a whole new underwater world, daring to go on adventures and help her new friends, by deciding to defeat the Trash Monster. Ola is as cute as she is brave and, after all, is the girl Nour says she was once as a child and hopes she still is today.

Slava Nour dives into Gulf Today’s questions and answers:

What country are you from? How long have you lived in the Emirates?

I was born and raised in Almaty, Kazakhstan, but I have lived a lot abroad since I was 15 years old. It was my first major trip to the US, my second major step to Dubai 15 years ago, and now I am proud to call it my second home. I travel quite a bit for business and personal reasons between Kazakhstan, Italy and Switzerland. But Dubai has always held an important place in my heart and I am here for major events related to art and culture.

What is your academic background? What made you interested in art and culture?

I have been drawing constantly since I was a child, visited art galleries, theaters and museums with my mother and read a lot about artists and their work as a teenager. I remember when I was eighteen I read Salvador Dali’s “Memoirs of a Genius” and it became a turning point for me in creative decision-making, with all its challenges and any kind of lack of stability. I’ve had to do a lot of independent research and studies on everything from art history to art investment to the latest big thing in art – NFTs.

When was Arte & Lusso created? why?

Arte & Lusso was born out of my love for art and culture as well as the gap I saw in the market some time ago.

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I really wanted to create a platform for emerging artists to share their work. Our goal is to connect art galleries, artists, collectors and anyone who loves art by sharing the most relevant local and international stories.

We are a very dynamic team with contributors from Dubai to Beirut to Rome, Barcelona and more; Creating a community is a core value to us. We help budding artists grow by sharing expert advice in our Creative Lab section. Artists can find many useful articles on topics such as writing an artist statement, setting up an art exhibition and marketing and selling their work.

What qualities are required for a person or work of art to be featured at Arte & Lusso?

Arte & Lusso focuses on contemporary art primarily and we do our best to promote all relevant art fairs happening in the UAE and interview artists who have talent and a strong message.

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An inspirational book by Spanish artist Salvador Dali.

We strive to provide a platform for emerging talents also in our Artist of the Month or Art Radar departments. We often make open calls for longer articles too – so it’s always a good idea to follow us on social media or sign up for our newsletter.

I was once a professional photographer. How has this experience helped you in your current position?

Photography has taught me really great observational skills. A good photographer doesn’t just click: he watches the subject, takes time to get the composition and light just right and knows clearly what you want to say with the image you’re creating. It’s the same with everything else – I enjoy watching trends in the art markets to understand how to push Arte & Lusso and my other projects forward.

Is it a one-way flow of culture – from the West to the Emirates – and not two-way traffic?

Your notes: In the past, this may have been the dynamic – but things are definitely changing now. I can see more and more Middle Eastern artists in European galleries, UAE based artists get more support from government and companies, and there are many educational programs run in the region. The coronavirus has clearly slowed cultural exchange. But now the major art galleries are back.

How do you see the development of art and lifestyle in the Emirates?

Dubai has become a real artistic and cultural center. There are many places to enjoy the arts from the DIFC to downtown to Alserkal, and many new art galleries have appeared. In addition to traditional art spaces such as galleries and museums, many hotels and businesses have begun working with artists to create a community atmosphere and attract new audiences. I also love all the public art around the city – projects like the Sculpture Park in the DIFC make art more accessible and attractive. March is full of art events from Sikka to Alserkal Art Week to Art Dubai and I am so excited to see all the art. It is definitely a month for every art lover to enjoy!

What do you think?

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