Online High End Art Fair

Scott Reyburn has an article on Bloomberg about VIP, an online art fair which will focus on high end contemporary art.  Some of the artist to exhibit online with VIP are Jeff Koons, Richard Prince, Damien Hirst and Andreas Gurksy.   The online art fair is now scheduled for Jan. 22 to Jan. 30, 2011. This is not your ordinary online art sale.  Online admission has tickets selling for $100.00 during the first two days and $20.00 for the rest of the week.  There will be direct internet contact between potential buyers and exhibiting galleries through instant message, Skype and the telephone. The cost to galleries is about 1/5 of what it costs for a live exhibition, so the savings as well as exposure to new collectors is a positive.  The question is will collectors catch on and be willing to first pay the entry fee and then buy expensive art online.

The idea is not as far fetched as it sounds.  Consider that international auction houses have been using and promoting more and more sales online.  Additionally, much of the buying public and collectors are shopping and then  buying online.  Art fairs online just seem like a natural progression.  I think it could work and also add competition to auctions houses, so long a value is offered.  There might be some benefits for appraisers as additional market information of the offerings, sales and transactions become more public and transparent.

I will try to monitor the progress of the VIP online art fair and update and report here on the AW Blog.

Reyburn reports

The fair’s website will allow visitors to zoom in on the paintings, enjoy multiple views of sculptures and watch videos.

“It’s a lot easier to go to an art fair when you can do it in an easy chair,” Levin said. The lavish parties and dinners thrown by galleries when collectors fly into town wouldn’t be missed. “If the social aspect is why you’re participating at an art fair, you’re not going for the right reason,” he said.

Dealers are attracted to the VIP Art Fair, the first of its kind, by the opportunity of gaining new clients from emerging economies, said James Cohan, co-founder of the fair, who also has a gallery in Shanghai.

Chinese Presence

Buyers from China, which this month became the world’s second-largest economy, have so far been a limited presence at Western dealer-led art events.

The fair also appeals to increasingly cost-conscious gallery owners who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on booths, travel, shipping, accommodation and entertaining.
To read the full article, click HERE.

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