It has been around for about a year now, time to shed some light on this new online resource:
This online guide, which can also be downloaded as an app, is supported by Basma Sulaiman, the influential Jeddah-based collector and patron who also set up the virtual museum of contemporary Saudi art BASMOCA.
The directory section is unconvincing – many of the galleries listed under Jeddah, Riyadh and the Eastern Provinces have no website, or it is malfunctioning, and google searches on their names deliver next to no results – with the exception of those galleries already named in the Gulf Art Guide. If anything it shows that the Saudi art world still has a long way to go before reaching the standards of its smaller Gulf neighbors, in terms of professionalism and communication, and critical approaches of their own art world.
But the events section is something to keep an eye on. How would we know, otherwise, that a Saudi Cultural Festival in the Kyrgyz Republic recently took place? More to the point, every happening in the Saudi art world, big or small, seems to be listed here.
This resource is one of the necessary structuring elements of the Saudi art world. Let’s hope it helps develop the overall Saudi art scene.