101 is a new platform co-founded by Munira Al Sayegh, an Abu Dhabi curator ( she worked with Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, Art Dubai, UAE Unlimited, and other regional platforms), and Gaith Abdulla, Dubai-based writer, and researcher on Gulf affairs. The model was designed by the two to rethink the UAE art ecosystem. Usually, artists are hired by galleries, and their pieces are sold to collectors just after their graduation. This phenomenon leads to a series of consequences such as prices set too high for these very young creatives while mid-career or other artists can struggle to find representation and risk to be left outside of the art market.
101 is a new quarterly online sale model involving just emerging and mid-career artists excluded from commercial galleries’ representation. While the latter sell artworks with a 50 percent fee, 101 split the income 30 / 70, with the bigger portion going to the artist. The idea is also to widen the audience of art collectors, including people usually not considered by the main galleries.
101 aims to discard the traditional art ecosystem, to build a more ethical and sustainable alternative.