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The fifth edition of the fair launched in 2010 as the MENASART Fair held its VIP opening at BIEL Thursday night, featuring its now standard mix of art and design galleries.Once again the fair is dominated by local fare. Twenty-one of the 34 art galleries featured at this year's edition list addresses in Lebanon, as do all 14 of the design booths. Missing from this year's roster are Art Factum Gallery, whose display was one of the strongest at last year's fair, and Ayyam Gallery, who last took part in 2012 .A departure from the fair's catalogue, which suggests gallerist Saleh Barakat was planning to exhibit work by 11 local artists, Sy's series of screen prints play with pop art inspired images of packets of cigarettes, their health warnings altered to refer to love, rather than smoking.Unusually for an art fair, a couple of spaces are dedicated to independent artists.Miniature works by 17 artists are located inside a dimly lit central space, its four walls and low ceiling insulating it somewhat from the frenetic activity outside.
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