Discovering the Oblong Contemporary Gallery
Paola Marucci, along with Emanuela Venturini, is the driving force behind the gallery in Forte dei Marmi in Tuscany and, since 2019, even in Dubai
How was the art gallery started?
Emanuela and I started it. We shared a wild passion for art, although we have different educational backgrounds. Emanuela is an architect with many years of experience in the interior design field and a great artistic feeling. I come from an economics background, but when I moved to Pietrasanta in Tuscany ( an international center of artistic production close to the famous white Carrara marble quarries and the well-known seaside destination of Forte dei Marmi, on the Versilian Coast, where the Italian gallery is located, editor’s note), I threw myself into the world of sculpture and artists and, over time, I adapted my expertise to fit the creative context that surrounded me.
After Forte dei Marmi, you landed in Dubai in 2019 on the Bluewaters Island. Why another branch?
Our purpose is to bring the Italian and the Emirati culture closer in order to bridge the gap between different thoughts and artistic expressions. Art is a universal language and makes the integration between peoples easier.
What contemporary art field do you focus on?
Our artistic offerings are varied, but we focus mainly on sculpture in step with the tradition of Pietrasanta and the Versilian Coast, so rich in bronze and marble workshops.
What is the Oblong Contemporary Gallery’s philosophy?
That of putting great international artists (such as Jimenez Deredia, Gustavo Velez, Stefano Bombardieri, Antonio Nocera) and young talented artists together (Seerero Pop Art, Roberta Diazzi). Their different techniques contribute to enlarging our range of artwork.
Who are your most popular artists in Dubai?
I like the sculptures and paintings by Mattar Bin Lahej very much. I would love to show his works at our gallery in Forte dei Marmi to pursue our goal of artistic contamination.
What do the Emirati people enjoy about Italian culture?
I believe they are attracted to our sensibility to art and beauty, an aspect which was highlighted at the Expo 2020 Dubai’s Italy Pavilion too.
Your most exciting discovery in Dubai?
The desert. It’s a bit like being surrounded by the sea but with different colors, plunged into the infinite space.