Galloire is located on London Street, City Walk, Dubai.
Mohammad Yusuf, Feature Writer
Galloire, the innovative contemporary gallery located at London Street, City Walk, Dubai, has signed a historic agreement with Abu Dhabi’s MidChains, to become the first major gallery in the Middle East region to accept cryptocurrency for the physical or digital art. It joins a list of major international galleries such as Pace, Lehmann Maupin and recently Gagosian, to accept Bitcoin, Ethereum and USDC for art sales worldwide.
“The gallery continues to forge ahead with the use of technology to enable collectors to connect with its artists and their work,” said founder Edward Gallagher, speaking about the gallery and the principles that underpin it. tend the move.
“We have an absolute belief in using technology to bring art to as wide an audience as possible; so, using photorealistic virtual reality and augmented reality, you’ve already seen us bring exhibitions from world-renowned artists to tens of thousands more people in the gallery than ever before.
“We want more people to connect with contemporary art and also believe in an egalitarian approach to how people want to pay for this art.
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“Why should we force a crypto-native person to pay in traditional currency (fiat) to acquire a beautiful painting, and vice versa? Why should a traditional collector looking to venture into NFTs pay in crypto- currency just to access digital art he falls in love with?”
Over the past few years, the UAE has become a top hotbed for blockchain and cryptocurrency entrepreneurs and investors, with new legislation making it easier for large companies to set up shop in the country.
The country is also no stranger to major art acquisitions for crypto-wealth, as last year saw Sacha Jafri’s record work (the largest painting on canvas in history) sold for sixty -two million dollars to French crypto-businessman André Abdoune.
Jafri (born 1977) is a contemporary British artist best known for creating the world’s largest painting on canvas, Journey of Humanity (recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records) over seven months during the COVID-19 pandemic in Dubai .
It was sold at auction in Dubai for 228 million dirhams (62 million US dollars) – the fourth highest auction price ever paid for a work of art by a living artist, behind Jeff Koon’s Rabbit (91 .1 million), David Hockney’s Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) US$90 million and Beeple’s Everydays: the First 5000 Days (US$69.3).
The painting measures over 17,000 square feet and incorporates the works of children from over 140 nations. Jafri donates the proceeds from the sale to children’s charities. Abdoune is of Algerian origin, he lives between Paris and Dubai. He made his fortune in stock trading before buying the industrial group Altius Gestion International Holding and embarking on cryptocurrency trading.
MidChains is one of the leading players in the cryptocurrency and broader virtual asset trading space that has flourished during this time. Led by CEO Basil Al Askari and co-founder Mohamed Al Hashemi, the company has received support from global (e.g. MIAX) and regional (e.g. Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Developmental Holding Company, ADQ) heavyweights.
Al Askari said, “We are a company that prides itself on innovation and being able to provide safe and regulated ways to transact and invest with cryptocurrency; so working with Galloire to allow collectors to invest in art using their favorite cryptocurrency, made perfect sense to us.
“Allowing people to securely pay for a physical asset with a digital asset, especially something as impactful as art, is a huge step forward in the UAE and we were able to do that today, not in months or years.”
Gallagher added, “We are extremely proud to be working with MidChains to facilitate this next step in payment technology. “Many companies in the UAE are offering to help explore this area or facilitate cryptocurrency payments – but most are not properly authorized to do so.
“MidChains is fully licensed by Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) to deliver on its promise, and we are delighted to have them as our partner.” MidChains and Galloire also confirmed that the systems were up and running to accept cryptocurrency payments, in time for the recently closed exhibition of rising Hong Kong art star Carla Chan.
By changing the way people trade, MidChains seeks to democratize new ways to acquire and hold wealth, with transparency and regulation that makes it safe for everyone. Backed by reputable regional and international investors including Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala), MIAX Exchange Group and DisruptAD, (ADQ), it is a fully licensed multilateral virtual asset trading system and depository based in the United Arab Emirates, built and operated by a new generation of experienced financial services professionals.
MidChains acts as a key access point for virtual/crypto assets, enabling retail investors and connecting global institutions to the region. Galloire is a leading contemporary gallery that works with established and emerging artists from around the world who, whatever their medium, push the boundaries of culture, think and explore our digitally dominated society.
Possessing an eclectic range, it exhibits artists whose roots come from urban art to classically trained painting, from the world seen through the lens to the data that surrounds us. The gallery is also characterized by a strong interest in how the visual arts work in conjunction with other forms such as poetry, philosophy and science.