1. Editor’s Note

August 1st, 2020

Welcome back to Global Art Daily! It is with great honor I inaugurate our brand new E-Issues website with our E-Issue 01, dedicated to Abu Dhabi / Dubai.

It is a difficult time to be starting anything new. The world is in a chaotic state. 2020 has shown we could accumulate medical, financial, political, and social crises, all at the same time. Between coronavirus cases spikes, deaths of innocent civilians, protests, and questionable leadership, societies around the world are considering total structural overhauls. On an individual level, our day-to-day routines are changing. We live online, work from home, Zoom our friends, practice social distancing, and the scary part is we are slowly adapting to this new reality.

What this calls for is change. Necessary, radical change. It’s time to let go of the past and reinvent our identities in a brave new world which we have a chance of redefining. After darkness comes light, and in an age of crises, our force lies in renaissance.

Here at Global Art Daily (GAD), that’s exactly what we have done. After publishing two issues of GAD Magazine in 2018, we took a long break. GAD has always been a passion project of mine, fueled by a greater belief in bridging creative communities around the globe. 2019 was quiet, and I couldn’t figure out what our next steps should be. But then, 2020 happened. As difficult as it has been for many of us, the stay-at-home lifestyle brought back a sign of light to the publication. Today, we are proud to present a refreshed and redesigned GAD 2.0, built by a new Editorial Board dedicated to our core mission of connecting the global creative community. Between the four of us, we cover New York, London, Abu Dhabi, and Tokyo, and are ready to offer you new E-Issues every 6 months. 

After many alterations and print developments, we are going back to our roots. GAD was born in Abu Dhabi and was very much inspired by the city’s incredible vision to embrace cross-cultural artistic dialogues.
Since 2015, the United Arab Emirates’ art scene has dramatically changed and evolved for the better. There are more complex links and a thriving local community of artists, photographers, fashion designers, influencers, and other creatives unconstrained by strict definitions or categorizations. E-Issue 01 is trying to capture that energy.

It also goes without saying that the UAE has been exemplary in mitigating the consequences of the pandemic, especially when it comes to its cultural scene. Countless online majlis talks, online exhibitions viewings, and other digital initiatives have sprung out of lockdown. All other countries could take example.

We start with ‘What’s On in the UAE’, an article written by Sala Shaker proposing a selection of current exhibitions open throughout the UAE. We then turn to the capital, Abu Dhabi. A big, exciting and refreshingly honest interview with rising star Hashel Al Lamki awaits you in our new section Pop(Corn), followed by a nostalgic account of my experiences tailoring clothes in Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre. We then move to Dubai. A full Rapport, another recurring section, explores the history and current climate of Dubai’s cultural magnetism. We wrote an in-depth analysis of what makes Dubai’s art scene so special, and quoted key influencers, gallery owners, and artists in the city. Finally, Daniel H Rey shares his experience of seeing Michael Rakowitz’s show currently up at Jameel Arts Centre.

I invite you to learn more about our E-Issues 2020-2021 Schedule and updated Open Call policy. And don’t forget to follow us on @globalartdaily to catch our latest updates. The digital format permits us to consider E-Issues as living documents, and more articles in this issue may follow as we welcome submissions in the next few months.

We hope you enjoy reading E-Issue 01!

Stay curious, stay global, 

Sophie Arni
Founder, Editor-in-Chief

1. GAD E-Issue 01, AUH/DXB, Summer 2020. Cover Image: Hashel Al Lamki, ADNOC Gas Station (2019). Acrylic on canvas. Image courtesy of Warehouse421 and the artist.

2. What’s On in the UAE, by Sala Shaker Image: The Stonebreakers, Installation shot. Image courtesy of Warehouse 421.
4. Tailoring in Abu Dhabi, by Sophie Arni Image: Al Omara Textiles in Madinat Zayed Shopping Centre, 2020. Photo: Sophie Arni.
5. Rapport: Dubai, by GAD’s Editorial Board Image: Man walking in Alserkal Avenue, 2020. Photo: Rocio Avelino.
6. Michael Rakowitz From the Diaspora, by Daniel H Rey Photo: Daniel H Rey.