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Augmented Reality Exhibition at Media One Hotel

ART fans, media and VIPs thronged the lobby of Dubai Media City’s Media One Hotel this week for the exclusive VIP launch of the Dollarsandart INTERGALACTIC$ exhibition.

Around 100 specially invited guests attended the opening, presided over by Lee Sharpe,  English former professional left wing footballer, sports television pundit and reality television personality. A special INTERGALACTIC$ sound track complemented the art.

Local augmented reality (AR) company, Ogle, has created a smart phone app to allow another dimension of interactivity with the art. For the first time in the region, each   artwork will feature AR, which will allow art lovers to see the artist describe each piece, simply by holding their Ogle AR-enabled smartphone over each piece.

Local artist Jim Wheat’s dramatic installation-style pieces can be found throughout the hotel’s lobby. While reactions varied, three of the 28-strong collection where sold on the first night.

Hot on the heels of his ground-breaking ‘Money Collection’ in 2013, the space-themed retro exhibition, a year in the making, is on display at Dubai Media City’s Media One Hotel until March 28. And Jim’s quirky style is taking the art world by storm.

Jim said: “After putting my heart, soul, and most of my old technology into these pieces, it was brilliant to see people’s faces as they toured the exhibition. When you put a lot of your personality into something, it can be scary anticipating public reaction, but the fact that three pieces were immediately snapped up as we opened the exhibition served to calm my fears.”

Every collection has the underlying theme of our relationship to money – with the dollar motif prominent in every piece. This set of visually stunning art draws inspiration from Jim’s 1970s childhood in the UK, from early home computers like the ZX Spectrum, Atari 2600 and Commodore 64, to film, TV, and technology. He hopes it speaks to people about the ‘throw-away’ society we live in, but also brings nostalgic memories.

Middle East $pace Raiders, the masterpiece of the collection, caps off the INTERGALACTIC$ collection as the travelling dollar flies through the land in an act of defiance. The piece is enhanced by the invasion of components of Dell’s Alienware gaming hardware that quite literally brings the work to light in the hotel lobby. The piece celebrates the totally submerged experience that Alienware brings its fans, taking gaming to another level.

Science fiction is a strong theme, as is film – Star Wars and Flash Gordon – and TV – Dr. Who and Space 1999 – and how everything has been affected and challenged by commercialisation.

The aim of curating the works at the Media One Hotel is to make them more accessible to people, including the chance to win more than US$64,000 worth of unique art.

“You can expect some surprises, prizes and a lot of fun during the exhibition. We want people to come along to Media One to view the art, and enter a prize draw to win the masterpiece and a hand-embellished print from the collection for just $1.”

When you use the augmented reality app, you will get the chance to answer a question, then fill out a slip to enter the INTERGALACTIC$ prize draw to win the Masterpiece of the collection, MIDDLE EA$T $PACE RAIDER$, valued at US$20,000; one of 28 hand-embellished prints worth $1,600 each; one of four Moto G Motorola smartphones; two overnight stays at the Media One Hotel; five customised perfume VIP experiences by Fragrance Du Bois; an AED7,500 voucher to spend at Ride Bike Shop and one month’s free membership at the new Hayemaker Gym in downtown Dubai.

Media One’s General Manager, Mark Lee, said: “We are delighted to welcome Jim back to the Media One Hotel once again. It was fantastic to see such a large group of people enjoying Jim’s art and our facilities, and we look forward to welcoming art lovers from across Dubai, the region and the world, throughout the next month.”

Dollarsandart recently acted as one of the sponsors for the Beauty and Golf Tour at Dubai’s Els Golf Club, presented by former  Miss World, Tatana Kucharova; and Jim gave away a piece in the British Business Group’s Christmas dinner Charity Auction. A rare print of $uperman, a piece from last year’s “Money Collection” went for AED4,500, raising money for four charities, including Gulf4Good.

As part of the artist’s philosophy, with every piece of Dollarsandart sold a donation is made to the charity Joining Jack, (www.joiningjack.org) which is working to find a cure for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

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