Dynamic couple Richard and Tatiana Zalan showcase Vernissage, a digital art exhibition 

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Vernissage is a first-of-its-kind immersive art exhibition. Featuring emerging digital artists where technology and humanity take a special centre stage. 

  • Richard and Tatiana Zalan’s idea, Vernissage is a state-of-the-art exhibition featuring artwork of eight digital artists from around the world.
  • The theme of Vernissage was ‘’Technology and Humanity Canvas’. Which is an immersive art exhibition with the goal of inspiring reflection on the use of technology.
  • An immersive experience of its kind, Vernissage is a thought-provoking display of digital art with diverse styles and ideas. 
  • Vernissage was a huge hit and garnered a stupendous response from the artists and collectors.

Vernissage: A Unique Art Exhibition

Dubai’s art scene has seen a major facelift in recent years. While it became a booming hub of art connoisseurs looking to collect those unique pieces of art, simultaneously there has been a radical interest and momentum towards digital art vis-a-vis the conventional art platform.

Vernissage was one such art exhibition organized by an early-stage startup that took place recently at Kanvas Gallery in al Quoz, Dubai. Co-founded by Dubai -based couple Richard and Tatiana Zalan, focus of the exhibition was on the relationship between technology and humanity, which is very apt and relevant in today’s times.

Since 2017, Richard Zalan and Tatiana Zalan have been a part of the blockchain technology ecosystem in the United Arab Emirates. Seeing Vernissage come to fruition after being their labour of love and a passion project was perhaps the greatest feeling in the world for this art-loving couple.

Vernissage is a beautiful combination of digital art by eight passionate digital artists from different backgrounds and countries. Each artist has brought to the screen a unique perspective in terms of technology melded with human thought- process.  The resultant combination of different perspectives leaves visitors in a thought-provoking awe- the perfect go-to space where art becomes a catalyst for raising awareness and deep thinking thereby inspiring action.

Owing to its interesting perspective and great rendering of the theme, Vernissage became a hub of attraction for a global audience and was attended by a huge number of digital art collectors, Web3 community and influencers, international curators, gallery owners, art professionals and media.

The Idea and Inspiration Behind Vernissage

Speaking about the idea behind Vernissage, Founder Richard Zalan credits the photographers for this idea, “We thought that they could use this technology to protect their copyrights. After all, their work was circulating endlessly on the Internet and anyone could take it without attribution. And, of course, I was influenced by those students from the Middle East who were willing to travel around the world to find their buyers. With the advent of digital technology thankfully that need has disappeared. I see blockchain as a guarantee of copyright and authenticity, not as a tool for various speculations.”

When asked about the inspiration behind Vernissage, Richard replies, “Our main idea is to connect collectors with artists, to give them the opportunity to see the potential of artists before they become stars. For the artists, the main advantage is that our platform is curated.’’

Speaking further about the struggling artists, he shares, “One evening, a group of nomadic artists presented Richard and Tatiana with a cardboard box that contained rolled-up canvases. Inside the box were several paintings. This was the moment when the story of the beginning of the Vernissage began to take shape. They were astounded by the artists’ dedication to building relationships with potential buyers, and this sparked the idea of using digital tools to carry on the tradition of fine art in the Web3 era.” 

More Than Just a Shopping Platform

However, Vernissage is not an eBay where anyone can upload their work, resulting in visual noise and most work getting lost. “It is not your average shopping platform; instead, we put an emphasis on user interaction by allowing users to chat, share opinions, and cast votes.”

Co-founder Tatiana emphasises their involvement with professional collectors thereby making Vernissage a unique art platform. “Many sociologists, philosophers, politicians strongly believe that the world is undergoing a major restructuring. Art is a powerful tool to build this new world. Artists can make it a more beautiful and more enjoyable place to live in. I see this as the mission of Vernissage.”

Curator of the exhibition, Marina Alvitr explains, “Vernissage is much more than an understanding of physical, digital and augmented reality and how it can be used in the arts sphere to describe the world which we live in. What makes this exhibition unique is that these artists are not just digital artists, they are painters or graphic designers or belonging to some stream of art and are well established in the artistic world as well. Vernissage is a beautiful blend of digital sphere, digital ideas and digital technologies with humanity in mind. Our main aim was to show that digital art is not all about the NFT, it can be put as a digital show to create mindfulness, understanding and thoughtfulness.”

A Platform for Artists

Claire Harris, Head of Strategy and Communications at Morrow Collective and also a visitor to the exhibition says, “It was great to see Vernissage offering a beautiful platform to the artists and enabling them with a showcase that will attract attention and hopefully give them access to collectors. Vernissage has brought together a wide variety of styles and creative expression strongly bound within the curatorial framework of technology and humanity canvas.”

Another visitor, Lori Figueiredo, a Change Strategist by profession said, “Observing the interpretation of the effect of technology and how humans and artificial intelligence are coexisting is extremely powerful and  important. Vernissage is not just art or just technology, but it’s a mashup of all of these with human psychology reigning supreme, and learning about the different perspectives from which we see the world.”

In Conclusion

Vernissage is a testament to the fact that the landscape of digital art in Dubai is continually expanding. It goes without saying that Vernissage has added a unique outlook to the thriving and varied art platform. In future, more exhibitions like Vernissage shall be making a beeline with the right values which foster creativity and promote digital artists, thus contributing to the expansion of the overall art ecosystem.

5 Responses

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  2. Richard Zalan and Tatiana Zalan realized digital artists needed protection, inspiring him to start Vernissage in Dubai. Using blockchain, Vernissage safeguards artists’ rights and boosts the digital art world. As more exhibitions follow suit, supporting creativity and digital artists, the art scene thrives.

  3. Having Vernissage exhibition is a great idea to showcase the limitless possibilities of the digital canvas. With the mix of arts and technology it will be captivating blend of pixels and imagination, it will mesmerize the journey through the realms of creativity and innovation.

  4. Vernissage started in Dubai is something that will be known all over the world. As more exhibitions do the same, the art scene grows, supporting digital artists and creativity.

  5. Vernissage, the brainchild of Richard and Tatiana Zalan, brings together a captivating fusion of technology and humanity through the works of eight talented digital artists from around the globe. It’s more than just an art exhibit; it’s a space for reflection, understanding, and appreciation of art in the digital age.

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