VIP Art Fair, the world’s first exclusively online art fair, opens to VIP’s today, and the public tomorrow – Sign Up Now to browse the art for FREE!
It’s time to get excited for The VIP Art Fair, the world’s only exclusively-online art fair, opens tomorrow, hoping to ‘translate the experience of a traditional bricks-and-mortar fair to an online environment’. This year it boasts 115 galleries including Gagosian, Zwirner, Pace, Max Hetzler, and Hauser & Wirth.
VIP Art Fair represents the culmination of two artworld trends. Firstly, it is situated at the forefront of that frenzied race to unlock the full art-selling potential of the internet, with 2011 seeing the unveiling of numerous internet-based schemes. Notable competitors includes S[edition], the initiative of Harry Blain (founder of Haunch of Venison and Blain|Southern) and Robert Norton (former CEO of Saatchi Online) – a site selling affordable e-art, or digital artworks by leading contemporary artists, to be viewed on-screen, on laptops, mobile phones, iPads, TVs, that can even be sent as gifts via email!
Secondly, VIP Art Fair is part of the general effort to entice those potential art buyers currently intimidated by the scene surrounding the art market – hence ‘Viewing In Private’, with its organisers believing that their model is the key to‘empowering the relationship between collector and dealer’. A similar effort was undertaken earlier this year by The Other Art Fair which removed the gallerist and dealer from the equation in order to lessen the fear-factor for the inexperienced.
Competition, then, is tough, and all eyes on VIP to see whether they can pull off their promise. The stakes are particularly high due to last year’s fair being plagued with complaints from dealers and collectors that they were unable to access the site in the hours after its opening. The organizers were then forced to disable the site’s instant messaging program in order to reduce the stress on the system, and to refund a portion of fees that galleries had paid to participate. It is perhaps as a result of this kafuffle that a number of last year’s galleries have declined to take part for a second time, with the likes of Gladstone, L&M Arts, Almine Rech, Andrea Rosen and Sean Kelly, watching from the sidelines. But, with the major galleries still on side, along fully upgraded software, VIP looks set to dominate the WWW ring.
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