vee aye pee

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This Global Art Forum has opened up a huge can of worms called the VIP list. This type of caste system has never bothered or affected me until it…well…affected me. First of all, and to borrow a phrase from my Average Joe du jour John Oliver, VIP: how is it still a thing?

The Kuwaiti artists who took part in the GAF9 Exhibition were excluded from the dinners held in honor of our ArtDubai guests, because we weren’t VIPs. We weren’t mentioned in the catalog either. And worst of all, we weren’t permitted to ride on the super awesome buses. This concept of exclusivity should have been tossed out with cutting-of-the-ribbon ceremonies. It is so outdated and should be irrelevant in today’s art world. But it isn’t. In fact, it speaks volumes about how non-celebrity artists have been relegated to the bottom of the art world hierarchy.

You may think I’m just a disgruntled non-invitee. Believe me, I’m not. When you take all the emotion and sadness and anger out of the equation, you are left with a technicality. And technically, we were contributors to this event and should’ve been automatically included in the program without judgment or thought.

So I’m not a VIP, big deal. And clearly, according to the cogs and wheels that run the art machine in this country, the fact that I am an artist excludes me from this magical list. But I am an artist. And because of it I am valuable and important.

And I really should’ve demanded a seat on that bus.

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