Ben Eine and a Sheikh in Abu Dhabi: Beauty Is In The Eye Of The Beholder

Banksy may be sought after by the Prime Minister of Israel but one of his old mates Ben Eine is shaking cans and hitting up an embassy with a Sheikh in the UAE.

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Ben Eine. Presenting a gift to His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

Five years after Mr. Obama and Mrs. Obama received a Ben Eine piece for their art collection, the list of important office holders who want a piece of the letterman’s glow has grown longer than your arm and sword. Not bad for a former insurance salesman and graffiti artist who reportedly was convicted of criminal damage a few times for spraying around town. Things are rather looking up!

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Ben Eine. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan “tagging” the wall. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

Now Mr. Eine is using his aerosol skillz to teach willing student Sheikhs how to improve their hand style in broad daylight before a cluster of snapping cameras for the debut of his new solo show Hand in Hand just opened at the Dubai gallery ARTSPACE in anticipation of the international art fair Art Dubai 2015 which begins Saturday. For an art form whose beginnings are associated in many minds with youth of modest means vandalizing private property, this is a remarkable development.

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Ben Eine. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

So it has come to pass that the UAE and the UK are bonding over graffiti – or rather, murals.  Since this sort of public expression of creativity is rather new in Abu Dhabi it was worthy of a ceremony that is captured here for you. Featured in addition to the artist are His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan and Her Majesty’s Ambassador Philip Parham – each tagging (err, inaugurating) a wall while the British Council Country Director, Marc Jessel admires the work with an appreciative crowd. Well Done!

The joyous art affair was all completed in the name of cross-cultural awareness and exchange, and the 40-meter mural on side of the embassy reads “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” How true that is, wouldn’t you agree?

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Ben Eine. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

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Ben Eine. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

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Ben Eine. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

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Ben Eine. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

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Ben Eine. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

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Ben Eine. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

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Ben Eine. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

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Ben Eine. Her Majesty’s Ambassador Philip Parham tagging the wall. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

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Ben Eine. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

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Ben Eine. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

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Ben Eine. Abu Dhabi. British Embassy. March 2015. (photo © courtesy of JB.PR)

 

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