DUBAI: The Swiss-born photographer talks about his underwater photograph from 2014, which was displayed at Florida's Palm Beach Show, via Galerie Gmurzynska, from Feb. 16-21.
I'm entirely self-taught, I just picked up a camera at some point and loved it. I've always loved wildlife photography; I’d buy books on it and watch David Attenborough and Jacques Cousteau documentaries when I was younger. I'm living the dream I had as a kid.
I'm not interested in just taking photographs for photographs' sake. I'm really into wildlife and the environment, and trying to help them. I've kept animals at home since I was eight. I think I know animals better than most people.
Giraffes and koalas are now endangered — animals that you and I never would have imagined 20 years ago would be endangered. For me, part of what I’m doing is just recording what we're losing.
What's always important for me is the animals themselves, and some animals are much more curious and interactive than others. I've had turtles stay with me for 45 minutes and I've had whale calves lock eyes with me.
I took this photograph in Sataya, Egypt. I was running out of breath. I went below the surface a bit and this dolphin was rising up to my feet. My camera wasn't working. Finally, he was at my chest and the camera still didn't shoot. He went just above me and I looked up, arched my back, and I clicked. It worked. I had zero air left in my lungs.
Swimming back to the boat, I was 100-percent sure that I'd missed it. The fact that I got the whole face and the eye is really fantastic. It was some sort of serendipity — having a camera that didn’t seem to work and all of a sudden it worked with a really beautiful animal.
You know what I see in the picture? I see the scratch marks and I don't know if they’re from mating or rubbing itself on coral. One of the marks looks like a barcode in a supermarket. I love the image, but I always look at the barcode and think how funny it is.
Stunning Seville: The Andalusian capital will delight culture vultures and beauty seekers alike
Updated 8 sec ago
SEVILLE: The southern Spanish city of Seville is, as its various nicknames — ‘The Pearl of Andalusia,’ ‘The Frying Pan of Europe’ and ‘The City of Oranges’ — renowned for its cuisine and its beauty. Films and TV shows including “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Game of Thrones” have been shot here. But wandering the Andalusian capital’s ancient streets, you quickly realize just how much of a historical powerhouse it is when it came to politics, knowledge, commerce, and culture, too.
For instance, it is believed that the passionate dance of flamenco and the staple cuisine of bite-size tapas were developed here. In the close-by port city of Huelva, the Italian explorer Christopher Columbus (known in Spain, where he died in 1506, as Cristobal Colon) famously set sail to the ‘New World’ of the Americas in 1492 — under the sponsorship of Spanish royalty — changing the course of history. There are clear Middle Eastern influences here too, in both the architecture and the language. The city’s Spanish name — Sevilla — is based on the way the ruling Arabs pronounced the name of the land in their control: Ishbiliyya. In Seville, prosperous, centuries-long Arab rule lasted until 1248, when Christian forces recaptured it in a campaign known as the ‘Reconquista.’
Seville is a city that will delight history buffs and curious roamers alike. Take the time to explore its narrow paths, tiled walls, quaint shops, and majestic interiors.
We are staying at the centrally-located Hotel Vincci Molviedro, situated in a peaceful square just a 10-minute walk away from the two most-visited attractions the city has to offer: the Alcazar and the cathedral. Inside the hotel, near reception, there is a fascinating view of an ancient, 22-meter stretch of a centuries-old Arab-built defensive wall.
The nearby Castelar road leads to a bustling web of streets where tapas bars, cafes, and speciality shops (and, of course, souvenir sellers) sit side-by-side. It’s a fun place to explore on your way to the Real Alcazar, a World Heritage Site that is still used by the Spanish royal family today. This ancient palace boasts airy courtyards, carved ceilings, calligraphy-covered walls, and sophisticated apartments that reveal an evolution in style from Moorish to Renaissance. It can be a tricky venue to navigate, but make sure to see its main highlight, the intricate, golden-dome-topped Hall of Ambassadors.
Seville is home to the world’s largest gothic cathedral — its vast interior can be overwhelming at first, with its high golden altar and detailed chapels. But, if there’s a point of historical interest that you shouldn’t miss it’s the grand tomb of Columbus, whose remains were transported from Cuba to Seville in 1902.
The cathedral is paired with the iconic La Giralda tower, which used to operate as a minaret for the mosque that was formerly sited here. You are allowed up its 34 flights of ramps, but the bell-covered top will likely be congested and your view blocked by tourists and metal bars. For far superior 360-degree views of the city, head to Las Setas — the mushrooms —at the Plaza de la Encarnacion. Billed as the world’s largest wooden structure, it stands around 26 meters high and houses a theater, a market, a museum, restaurants, and a rooftop terrace with views of the old city.
If you want to simply sit back, relax, and do some people-watching, head to the colorful, tile-studded benches of the vast Plaza de Espana. Inside its semi-circle are bridges, balustrades and numerous ceramic murals portraying scenes from Spanish history.
After all that sight-seeing, you’ll need a bite to eat. Near the cathedral, there’s a popular casual eatery called La Paella. Most customers opt for the eponymous rice dish, but if you want to try something different, go for the arroz negro — rice infused with squid ink — and add a few dollops of garlicky alioli sauce for a kick in taste.
Elsewhere, lively Guichot street near the charming Plaza Nueva also has several dining options. We recommend El Atun, which specializes in tuna dishes.
If you really want to treat yourself, then a meal on the terrace of Mariatrifulca restaurant on the Triana Bridge is a wonderful way to take in the breathtaking scenery of the Guadalquivir River (another name based on an Arabic term: Wadi Al-Kabir or ‘the great river’) — the beating heart of Seville which brought prosperity to the area and its people over centuries.
The finale also featured performances by Hollywood stars including pop star Jason Derulo, award-winning songwriter Diane Warren, multi-platinum-selling band Thirty Seconds to Mars, musician Jon Batiste and chef and TV personality Cat Cora.
The winner of the 18th season are trainer Adrian Stoica and his dog Hurricane, earning them a $1 million prize and a headlining show in Las Vegas.
“Since that time, I have had an abiding passion for the Arabian world, but after visiting Saudi Arabia, I felt truly inspired by the remarkable young filmmaking talent coming up across the region and to see how they are now capturing the attention of the global film community.”
The Academy Award-nominated auteur is known for being a master storyteller across film, opera, theater and music, as well as his critically acclaimed filmography, including double Academy Award-winning “The Great Gatsby,” “Strictly Ballroom,” “Romeo and Juliet,” “Moulin Rouge,” “Elvis” and “Australia.”
Picasso masterpiece begins pre-auction tour in Dubai
The 1932 portrait of Marie-Therese Walter, Picasso’s mistress and “golden muse,” is being exhibited for two days before heading to Hong Kong and London
Updated 25 September 2023
Dubai: A Pablo Picasso masterpiece expected to fetch at least $120 million at auction went on show Monday in Dubai, kicking off a set of rare viewings outside the United States.
The 1932 portrait of Marie-Therese Walter, Picasso’s mistress and “golden muse,” is being exhibited for two days before heading to Hong Kong and London, a boon for the United Arab Emirates’ bid to establish itself as a cultural powerhouse.
The viewing “marks the first time a painting of this calibre by the world-renowned artist has ever been exhibited in the UAE,” Sotheby’s Dubai said in a statement, noting it is the first time the portrait had been shown outside the US in half a century.
“Over the years the UAE has earned the status of being a global art destination, which receives a further boost as this rare Picasso is unveiled here,” said UAE Culture Minister Sheikh Salem bin Khalid Al-Qassimi.
The painting titled “Femme a la montre” will be sold in November as part of a two-day auction of late New Yorker Emily Fisher Landau’s prestigious collection.
Walter met Picasso in Paris in 1927, when the Spaniard was still married to Russian-Ukrainian ballet dancer Olga Khokhlova, and while Walter was 17.
Walter, whose daughter with Picasso passed away last year, was also featured in “Femme assize pres d’une fenetre (Marie-Therese),” which sold in 2021 for $103.4 million by Christie’s auction house.
Fifty years after his death in 1973 at age 91, Picasso remains one of the most influential artists of the modern world, often hailed as a dynamic and creative genius.
But in the wake of the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment and assault, the reputation of this workaholic with a vast output of paintings, sketches and sculpture has been tarnished by accusations he exerted a violent hold over the women who shared his life and inspired his art.
The Jordanian royal was dressed in a white funnel-neck pedernal blouse by Canadian British designer Edeline Lee and a black midi-skirt by Dior. She added a pop of color to her look by wearing hot-pink slingback Fendi heels and a matching Baguette phone pouch in patent leather.