Among a crowd of art enthusiasts and professionals, it is very easy to single out Taymour Grahne as a novice. That, of course, if you’re judging him by looks alone. He is after all, a fresh-faced 24-year-old. But on perusing the man’s list of credentials since embarking on the art world, you’ll be quick to realize Grahne is no newcomer – young blood he may be, but fresh meat he is not.

Sporting an exotic name that’s a token of his hybrid Lebanese- Finnish parentage, Taymour Grahne is the creator of Art of the Mid East, the first and most extensive blog dedicated to the study and discussion of contemporary Middle Eastern art. The widely read blog has nicely demonstrated Grahne’s foundation and specialization in Middle Eastern and North African art, which is backed by a Masters in Art Business from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art.

Born and raised in London and having lived between Beirut and New York, where he is currently based, Grahne enjoys a deep-rooted understanding of regional arts while his international travels have honed his appreciation of the global art scene. He is also an avid art collector who’s active with museums and institutions worldwide – a recent nod by Modern Painters recognizing him as “One of the 50 Most Exciting Collectors Under 50” further attests to the aforesaid. It’s with a global network that spans artists and art mavens from opposite ends of the world that Grahne unveils his eponymous gallery in one of the hubs of contemporary art – and one of his top favorite cities – New York.

The multitalented Grahne chose to set up his 4,000 square-foot, two-level space in the vivacious neighborhood of Tribeca, which pulsates with row upon row of eye popping design stores and posh restaurants, yet which is not exactly brimming with art galleries. So the young gallery won’t get gobbled up in a sea swarming with older, bigger fish – although it is in a position to play with the big fish. The gallery opens its doors while four of its artists are taking part in this year’s Venice Biennale, and as its inaugural exhibition features the acclaimed painter Nicky Nodjoumi who is participating in the landmark showcase of Iranian art, “Iran Modern”, at Asia Society, New York.

The Iranian-American artist who is currently based in Brooklyn is both interestingly local and international, strikingly referencing both cultures. Grahne’s choice fell on Nodjoumi being a very established artist, as a sign of respect to a city he adores. The exhibition highlighted the seasoned artist’s rich palette and the development of his oeuvre from the ‘70s until today, focusing on the artist first, not strictly on the region he hails from. While Taymour Grahne Gallery will have a strong connection with Middle Eastern artists given its founder’s expertise and background, it does not attempt to exclusively concentrate on artists from this region but on “cultivating emerging talent and supporting prominent artists from around the world”.

Grahne argues that displaying the work of artists of Middle Eastern origin alongside international artists will allow audiences to value and assess the pieces for their quality and broad range of themes, not merely the geographical regions these artists belong to. Against this backdrop, artists will be selected from Asia, Europe, the Americas and Africa, and from areas that are usually left behind by “the Eurocentric discourse of the contemporary art market”, such as Pakistan and Greece. The gallery will also have the added advantage of presenting artists who have yet to exhibit in the U.S. It looks like Grahne has done his homework and that his gallery will be going against the grain in more ways than one. He vows “to foster a diverse, international program of groundbreaking contemporary art”, and we can’t wait to see what he has in store for us.