An exclusive interview with Darren Baker the co-founder of “Art London Dubai”

As the world of art collides with the online realm, the boundaries become blurry and the possiblites endless. None know this better than the Founders  of  Art London Dubai   the brand new online gallery launched by the highly celebrated artist Darren Baker and  Dubai based entrepreneur Jason Cook. This platform is the ultimate destination for art lovers of the region looking for an eclectic, mesmerizing selection of original art and limited-edition prints from some of the worlds most talented artists.

Art London Dubai has launched with an impressive selection of UK based artists including celebrity painter David Harper, the incredibly talented Clarissa C James and the inspirational Cindy Lass, to name just a few. Visitors to the site will discover an array of Fine Art, Equine Art, Polo Art, Urban Art and much more to suit a variety of budgets.

To learn more about this incredible initative, I got a one on one with the man of the hour himself, the amazingly talented artist Darren Baker.

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Darren Baker

What inspired this collaboration between you and Jason?

We have known each other for a long time, Jason started collecting my work 15 years ago. We met at a London event where I was exhibiting my work. We clicked, both of us having the Yorkshire connection!

It was Jason’s initial idea for the online gallery as he saw a gap for artists in Dubai, offering artwork other than purely Arabic themed and inspired.

His expertise with finance and digital media and websites, combined with my knowledge and love of art seems a great fit for this enterprise.

Darren’s Official Portrait of The Queen in 2011

Would this platform mean opportunities for Dubai based Artists to also explore the UK market? Or is it primarily focusing on bringing UK based Artists to the ME region?

Yes the crossover between both territories is intended to open up new audiences for both Dubai based and UK based artists.

Through my extensive network and connections with galleries, dealers and collectors in the UK, we can offer ME based artists great opportunities to exhibit and sell the work. Similarly, via the website, and through creating connections in Dubai, such as the art fair and working with social media influencers, we can market UK artists to a whole new audience.

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Darren’s magnificent artwork

What makes Dubai so appealing? 

It is such an exciting and developing new art world, particularly for western art. Like the country itself, it has a bold and dynamic vision for its future and for shining out to the world. We want to be a part of that journey.

What is the vision behind this platform?

To create opportunities and exposure for talented artists both emerging and established, in new art markets for their work.

To create an experience for the customer that is seamless and first rate, personal and exclusive.

To make the buying and selling experience for both artist and customer enjoyable and exciting.

To give artists a platform that offers them access to collectors in the UK and Dubai, and treats them fairly and ethically in terms of a high rate of commission, allowing them to work and enjoy the process of creation and be fully inspired.

Darren’s beautiful creations

Has there been adequate support? 

We have engaged with Department of Trade and Enterprise in the UK and sister offices in Dubai, also the Dubai Embassy, where we are negotiating an exhibition.

Generally though it is harder to access support and funding for the arts compared to other industries. This is a great shame and a oversight when you realize the overall economy generated by Art, and also the incredible wellbeing and sensory effect it has on the artist and viewer alike.

Are you open to collaborations with local artists in the region?

Certainly. We want to create a collaborative artistic platform that engages artists and opens up gallery space and exhibitions for our entire portfolio of artists.

Your advice to artists who are looking to launch themselves commercially?

Always believe in yourself and your vision and keep going. Yes, there will be plenty of rejections and hurdles to overcome but always believe in yourself and your art and love what you do. Keep your name and your work constantly in the mind of the galleries, collectors and media. Generating a reputation and coverage for your work is equally as important as the creation. Knock knock on every door, seize the opportunity, seize the day!

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Behind the scenes (Darren with The Queen)

The Founders of ART LONDON DUBAI:

Darren Baker

Since Princess Anne unveiled his official portrait of The Queen in 2011, Darren has taken the art world by storm. His hyper-realism art is comparable to photography. The techniques employed by Darren to achieve such breathtaking results have been developed and perfected over decades of dedicated hard work.

Darren has produced paintings for such sporting stars as Lewis Hamilton, Steven Gerrard, Kenny Dalglish, Rio Ferdinand, Wayne Rooney and Amir Khan. Other iconic portraits include Her Majesty The Queen, HRH Prince Charles and Tony Blair. His portrait of Pope John Paul II was greeted with a personal letter of appreciation direct from the Vatican.

This master artists accolades also include:

  • Official Portrait artist to Her Majesty The Queen 2011
  • Official artist to the 2012 Olympic games
  • Fine Art Trade Guild Award Winner – Best Artist 2010
  • Winner of The Garrick Prize at Christies, London

Over the years, Darren has produced an impressive portfolio of art which grace many prestigious public and private collections including 10 Downing Street, The House of Lords, St James’s Palace and the Bahrain Royal household. His celebrated works are becoming increasingly sought after by art collectors around the world.

Jason Cook

Jason Cook is a banker, trustee, entrepreneur and an avid art collector. With experience in London, Geneva and Dubai, he has advised members of parliament, industry leaders and extremely influential families.

As a passionate collector of Art, Jason was thrilled to join forces with Darren Baker to launch Art London Dubai in 2018 and is focusing all of his time in what he describes as “the opportunity of a lifetime” bringing established contemporary artists to serve the GCC market.

Log on to check out this amazing new platform connecting Art with the World: