Written by Lawrence C. Miller
The second edition of Urban Dawn opens in Beirut, Lebanon on October 16. The first Urban Dawn was held in Almaty, Kazakhstan in 2015. Vika Latysheva and Ayad Nasser of Curator 19.90 and Loft Investments plan to mount each forthcoming annual exhibition in a different country wherein a leading artist from the previous host nation will be showcased. In this manner, Beirut’s Urban Dawn ll features Repas, the graffiti team from Kazakhstan, along with a keen selection of global artists curated by Rasmus Ejaas Fischer, Melissa McCaig-Welles, and Mateo Mize.
Urban Dawn ll is the largest urban art exhibition to take place in the region. Beirut’s renaissance in the 1950s transformed the city into a vibrant financial, cultural and intellectual hub. With its French influence, Beirut became known as the “The Paris of the Middle East”. Lebanon has been rebuilding since the 1975 civil war and subsequent conflicts. Its rejuvenation is palpable. The life force of the art exhibited in Urban Dawn ll is simpatico with this nascent re-emergence.
During the month-long exhibition, Finok and Ethos will produce and donate two large-scale murals to the city, and Gilf will create a work on a women’s prison. The artists will visit refugee camps, conduct talks, master classes and artist-led tours. Here a vibrant branch of the art world joins in the active nurturance of positive evolution.
Curators Rasmus Ejaas Fischer, Melissa McCaig-Welles and Mateo Mize bring together an impressive roster of international artists whose work contains the DNA of urban street art and graffiti. This powerful grouping includes: Alex Diamond, Alex Sastoque, Anton Savitsky, Andrew Schoultz, Ashekman, Base23, Camille Adra, Chad Muska, Dalek Danno, Dan Witz, Dem189, ECB, Elle, El Mac, EPS, Ethos, Finok, Frans Smit, GILF!, Grind, Harif Guzman, Icy & Sot, Jav Demsky, John Newsom, Loro, Very, Michael Takaks, Morten Anderson, Næblerød, Nook, Oleg, Queen Andrea, Aetna, Repas, Richard Dupont, Richie Culver, Rune Christensen, Sante D’Orazio, Shelter Serra, Shepard Fairey, Strok, Swoon, Ted Lawson, Tim Okamura, Vexta, and others.
Curator 19.90 is an international platform that connects artists and curators and develops and organizes shows.
The exhibition runs through November 13, 2016.