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The VIP Art Fair, 2011

The VIP Art Fair, 2011

James Cohen Gallery will feature Roxy Paine's Facade/Billboard, 2010

Because there aren’t enough art fairs around the world, James Cohen has invented the ultimate art fair that you can visit from the comfort of your own home, the VIP Art Fair.  This virtual art fair, which stands for Viewing In Private,  is a cross between a video game and high-end art arcade.  Hopefully, today I can shed some light on what to expect.

James Cohan Gallery booth with works by Roxy Paine and Beatriz Milhazes

From a virtual perspective, the VIP Art Fair is impressive, to say the least.  Set up like a real art fair, a user enters the fair the same way he or she would at Art Basel Miami or the Armory.  There is a grand entrance hall and three different sections of the fair to visit.

Galerie LeLong will show Jaume Plensa's Irma I, 2008, an Alabaster sculpture

The Fair is divided into three sections: VIP Premier, for established galleries; VIP Focus, for galleries with single artist booths; and VIP Emerging, for galleries showing works that have been produced within the past 2 years.  It seems there will be something for everyone.

Once you enter a gallery booth, a human shadow figure appears which will give you perspective of the size of the artwork for sale.  You will also be able to click on portions of the art to get a better sense of its texture and color as well as artist info, medium, price and size.  Communication through instant messaging and Skype facilitates direct dialogue with gallery directors.

Detail of a Beatriz Milhazes painting in the James Cohan Gallery booth

The VIP Art Fair also has perks for its VIP’s.  Virtual collection visits and guided tours of the fair from industry know-it-alls will be available.  If you haven’t already been sent a VIP pass you can buy one for $100 – or contact TFAA for our VIP pass.

Artist Info for Beatriz Milhazes

From the art advisor perspective, I am curious to see how clients respond to art online.  I anticipate that galleries will have to be selective about the work they show.  Forget anything that doesn’t show up well in a j-peg.  I also imagine the majority of sales will be made over the telephone or in the gallery for those of us who like to inspect all art in person before buying.

Personally, socializing with all of my favorite dealers, collectors, artists, and friends while working is part of the reason I love art fairs.  There’s something about face to face time that matters in my business, especially for young collectors.

I am excited to experience the VIP Art Fair, and report back the overall results too.  So far, I have enjoyed working with the Directors, Stephanie Schumann and Noah Horowitz, who have been wonderfully accessible.  Mostly, though, I’m thrilled to save my feet from their typical art fair blisters.

David Zwirner's booth at the VIP Art Fair

The VIP Art fair runs from January 22nd-30th, 2011.  For more information:  www.vipartfair.com

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