Artists and art enthusiasts have something major to be excited about. For the first time in Doha, a registered arts brokerage has been added to Qatar’s ever-growing organic arts and culture scene. Created to help local artists gain international recognition and bring new artworks and exhibitions to Qatar, Pallas Arts officially launched in Doha. The brokerage will partner with the likes of Qatar Museums and Katara.
We chat with Pallas Arts’ CEO Mariame Farqane to dig deeper into this venture.
Tell us a little more about Pallas Arts.
As Qatar’s first registered art brokerage, we acquire and sell artworks from local and international artists. We’re excited that Pallas arts will be using art, auctions and exhibitions to support charitable and humanitarian projects in Qatar and overseas. It will use proceeds to fund a unique project called The Bab’El Institute.
How will this be beneficial to local artists?
We love the work of local artists like Yousef Bahzad, Lulu M and Faisal Al Hajri. We want to showcase their talent by holding exhibitions, events and talks to get them visibility both locally and in the international market. There are amazing initiatives to pioneer young emerging talent from Qatar, from the Doha Fire Station to the wonderful public art spaces in Katara – Pallas Arts will be the latest to pioneer local talent and bring them to the forefront of the art world.
Can international artists also get access to the local markets?
Yes – Qatar is an amazing market for art and we’ve found international artists really want to be involved in it. We represent several international artists such as Oscar Mantilla from France, Olga Sinclair from Panama, Abdurrahim Benazzouz from Morocco and France and Spanish artist Ignacio Chillon. The renowned French artist Cyril Kongo custom painted a 1983 Rolls Royce Silver Spur especially for Pallas Arts which was recently auctioned off, with the proceeds going to charitable projects. We’re giving them a range of platforms to showcase their art in an exciting market.
How did you decide to start this in Qatar?
Our links with Qatar go back many years. I can’t think of a more exciting place to be in the world right now when it comes to art and culture. There are world-class museums and the incredible National Museum of Qatar is set to open soon. The arts and culture scene is growing from the strong leadership of the country, thanks to institutions and leaders such as H. E. Sheikha Al Mayassa – but the grassroots desire for arts is incredible. We want to be part of this growing community, supporting artists along the way. And of course, Qatar’s philanthropic spirit speaks for itself, so we have found Qatar and its people particularly receptive to our vision of using art as a force for good, for education and societal benefits.
Tell us the history of your brand.
I’ve been working on the idea for Pallas Arts – in particular The Bab’El Institute – for eight years. The idea really came to life in 2015 when Lewnis Boudaoui and I, the original co-founders, were at the Royal Academy of Arts in London, walking through the Rubens exhibition and made the decision to go forward with our then “crazy” idea to start an art brokerage. A chance meeting with Alvaro Meija, made me realise how many contacts he has in the art world, and he wanted to become involved. So, he became the third partner.
What charitable projects are you involved with?
The Bab’El Institute is an education initiative. Using profits from Pallas Arts, Bab’El will promote intercultural exchange and education on the connection between Eastern and Western cultures. It will dedicate itself to providing lifelong education through exhibitions, international conferences and events. As part of this, we’ll be working with partners around the world to build an orphanage which will revolutionise educational approaches to disadvantaged children and orphans.