Corporate Art Force

Mural Monday: Etam Cru in Dubai


For this week’s Mural Monday, we are featuring a new wall from Etam Cru. Painted in the UAE, the mural is a part of the inaugural year of the street art festival, Dubai Walls. Titled “Girl with the Orange,” Etam Cru’s wall spans 6 stories, consisting of a subdued color palette, draping fabrics, and a geometric floor design. Depicting a woman peeling an orange, the Polish duo often creates large-scale figurative scenes that contain an underlying theme of mysticism or Eastern European folklore. Their most recent work is the largest mural in the Middle East.

Etam Cru Dubai, Mural MondayImage Source: Dubai Walls.

Dubai Walls

Although street art is now a globally practiced and renowned artistic movement, it is just beginning to emerge in the Middle East. Dubai Walls is a creative initiative designed to introduce street art into this region of the world. With 2016 as the first year of the festival, Dubai Walls invited 15 internationally artists from 5 continents: Lady Aiko, Beau Station, Blek Le Rat, Eelus, D*Face, Eine, Etam Cru, Icy and Scot, Magda Sayeg, Nick Walker, Roa, Ron English, Rone, Slinkachu, and The London Police. Each of these urban artists have made an impact on the urban art scene, most with murals in the street art capitals of the world, such as New York, London, and Paris.  An impressive line-up, particularly for its initial installation, suggests that there may be a notable increase in urban art throughout the Middle East in the years to come.

Etam Cru 2Image Source: Dubai Walls.

ETAM-CRU-Mural MondayImage Source: Dubai Walls.

The festival was possible due to Meraas, a Dubai-based holding company. The murals were painted throughout City Walk, another Meraas project and a popular destination for entertainment, shopping, and dining. In regards to Dubai Walls, His Excellency Abdulla Al Habbai and Group Chairman of Meraas stated:

“As part of our commitment to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into an open-air museum that dazzles the world and showcases the unique human experiences behind many of the emirate’s successes, Dubai Walls will attract visual art lovers from across the globe…This initiative will definitely make the region even more attractive through the amazing works of street art by an acclaimed list of international artists. Such initiatives help stimulate the tourism sector and reinforce Dubai’s position as a leading global art capital. Dubai Walls will cooperate with all related parties to achieve its goals.”

etam crus detail - Mural MondayImage Source: Sainer.

Etam Cru

Composed of two of the finest the individual muralist in contemporary art, Etam Cru includes Polish artists Bezt and Sainer. The two began to collaborate while students at The Academy of Fine Arts in Lodz, Poland, from where they both graduated in 2012. Bezt and Sainer each continue to pursue their individual practices while developing their collective identity of Etam Cru. While Betz is known for his more graffiti-influenced style, Sainer has an approach rooted in realism and figurative representation. Although they maintain their distinct styles, both artists explore similar themes of the surreal, fantasy, and folklore through a style ridden with precise technical skill. Executed in ambitious, monumental scales, he end result of Etam Cru seamlessly blends the individual styles of the two artists. Their work is highly symbolic, designed to be ambiguous and open to interpretation, and accordingly, their name “etam” roughly translates to “whatever” or “I don’t care.” This name is meant to be in the essence creative association rather than apathy, as Etam Cru encourages each viewer to find his or her own meaning in their work.