The Shopping Mall as Art Gallery

We live right across the street from the world’s largest shopping mall, Dubai Mall (as you know from my numerous blog posts about it!).  For non-shoppers like us (going to the mall used to be our LEAST favorite thing to do) this would not seem to be a “plus”.

But while we are still not crazy about shopping malls –  Dubai Mall is different.  And not just because we live across the street from it.  There is much more going on here than just shopping; in a hot climate like the U.A.E., the mall serves as sort of an air conditioned town square.  And the mall’s developer, Emaar, even makes a concerted effort to have new ART installations on a regular basis.  To add an extra element of delight, oftentimes the ARTIST comes for the installation and to meet the public and answer questions/offer insights.

So it was much to our delight to meet the latest “artist in residence” at the Dubai Mall, Robi Walters.  Not only to meet him, but to have the chance to sit down and talk with him at length about his incredible life.  At a young age Walters and his brother were separated from their mother and placed in foster care.  Then his brother died in a fire.  Walters rose from this difficult childhood to become the artist he is today.  If you are in Dubai, stop by and see Walters.  He is engaging and very positive.  He explained to my husband Jimmy and I that in his art, he uses recycled materials to form new and beautiful pieces to show that some things society may cast aside are beautiful and useful (with obvious parallels to his own childhood experiences).

Walters’  temporary studio can be found on the ground level of the Mall between the Star atrium and Bloomingdales.  He will only be there until April 21st, so hurry!


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