"Conflict has always been an incubator for creativity: The political cartoons of the American and French revolutions in the 18th century, the powerful canvases inspired by the 1930s Spanish Civil War such as Pablo Picasso's "Guernica," and now the Web-driven protest art of Middle East uprisings."
In late 2011, the Ayyam Gallery relocated from Damascus to Dubai's Al Quoz art-district. Since then, the gallery has slowly smuggled more than 15 Syrian artists (like Syrian revolution-artist Tammam Azzam) into the country by hiring them as employees, as well as their families and over 3000 paintings, pieces and sculptures.
If you're an expat like us, or know anything about visa basics in this country (which to be fair you should) - you'll know that getting a Syrian person a UAE employment visa is no easy task. The region in general is very wary of political situations. So to hear that 15 artists, a gallery and 3000 works have found a new home is wonderful yet bittersweet as a harsh reminder of what is going on.
So last Monday, September 16th, the Ayyam Gallery held an art auction in their sleek studio - artwork sold shared the voice of what war is really like, and brought in the creme de la creme of the city.
It's always wonderful to see art making a difference.