News

VIP Art Fair Spruces Up for Its Second Year Running

by Liza Eliano on January 9, 2012

A screen shot from the VIP Art Fair website (via vipartfair.com)

The VIP Art Fair, the first contemporary art fair held exclusively online, is heading into its second edition with both new events and a shot of hefty investments from two international art collectors. According to a statement released today by VIP, a total of $1 million came in from Brazilian art collector Selmo Nissenbaum and Australian media and arts specialist Philip Keir.

What will these investments go towards? VIP is also introducing three new art fairs that will supplement the main event, VIP 2.0, which runs from February 3 – 8. These fairs include VIP Paper, VIP Photo and VIP Vernissage, planned as “a smaller, shorter event in which dealers spread the word about what’s new and fresh before the Fall season starts,” according Lisa Kennedy, the fair’s new chief executive.

In a press release sent to Hypeallergic via email, VIP stated:

Much like the company’s flagship fair VIP 2.0, with galleries including Gagosian Gallery, David Zwirner, The Pace Gallery and Marian Goodman Gallery, this new series of fairs will leverage Internet technology to create live, online events in which to view, learn about and purchase artworks by leading contemporary artists from around the world with more frequency throughout the year. Galleries exhibiting at VIP Paper will present limited editions and works on paper.

VIP’s first shot on the web last year was a high-profile event with collectors clamoring on the site to view and purchase works from over 130 dealers. But it wasn’t without its problems. The site became so jammed at one point that it completely shut down, while other blips along the way (Paddy Johnson gives a thorough run down of them here) left several fair visitors frustrated. Art Review also reported issues of privacy when it was revealed that every time someone looked at a work their email was automatically sent to the representing gallery.

VIP has also hired an in-house technical team this time around and revamped the site in order to accommodate more traffic. With more efficiency and new events that promise a greater range of work, the online art fair may have learned from some its mistakes. But will VIP 2.0 really be an upgrade? I’ll wait until they add VIP Performance Art.

The VIP Art Fair 2.0 will take place from February 3 – 8, 2012. VIP Paper runs from April 20 -22, VIP Photo from July 13 – 15 and VIP Vernissage from September 7 – 9. To register for the fair visit their website at vipartfair.com.

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