What happens when you put artists in front of a massive wall, armed with paint, and shout ‘FIGHT’? A knockout illustration battle, named Street Walls.
Secret Walls is an internationally recognized platform for artists. When Secret Walls host an event, whether in Tokyo, Berlin or Dubai, they united the local art scene: a local DJ performs in a bespoke low-key location while local artists compete against one another for 90 minutes. The artist who wins the audiences’ votes, takes home the street cred of winning a ‘Secret Walls’.
We recently interviewed the guys behind Secret Walls, the ones who organize these art fights, asking them how they see the Middle Eastern Art Scene, and what are the main traits of a successful artist. To summarize Lilli Pore & Paul Jackson’s response with 3 statements, “educate”, “collaborate”, “stay true to oneself”.
PUMA’s #SuedeGuerrillas brought them over for their first battle in Dubai, part of the PUMA ‘Run The Streets’ party on Thursday 27th April, who helped us get this sick footage of the Dubai Secret Walls, and the following interview.
What do you think of the creative industry of Dubai specifically, and the Middle East at whole?
The Middle East is without a doubt a creative hub, there are local influencers creating and moving things. Dubai and its region is an untapped, open playground. There might be regulations, however, these local influencers are creating and shaping as we speak.
Does the Middle Eastern even existent in the eyes of the global art community?
Yes, it very much does. International artists are commissioned to work in Dubai. It is on the raider for many artists.
The regional art scene will grow with education. Street Art is seen quite negatively. Most people do not know the difference between Graffiti, the aggressive art form, vs. Street Art, art murals in open spaces using spray cans as the preferred medium. By the local scene creating more, the Street Art scene will grow, and, consequently, make the Middle Eastern Art scene more prominent.
Working with tons of artists internationally, and witnessing many lose and win during your battles, what do you consider is the most essential attribute/characteristic of an artist?
Win or lose, does not really matter. It’s about collaboration. Express your values and who you are.
As you may have noticed, it comes across as Dubai and the Middle East is a creative hub. However, rather for international artist to exhibit their skills in our cities, instead of local artists being recognized globally. It is our responsibility to do more, educate our peers, collaborate, and support other artists. Together, we will show the world, the Middle East and our local taste makers are true innovators.