One of the ongoing narratives of the art world as of late is the fight over art’s presence on the internet — which company will be the first to make systematized online art sales mainstream? The field of contenders, which has ranged from 20×200 to Paddle8, Artspace, Artsy, VIP Art, and even Fab.com, is narrowing.
What’s the best way to show artwork — both made for the web and not — online? How do we bring net art into the physical space of a gallery? These are two of the questions that curators, artists, and others in the art world are increasingly confronting and most likely will be for a while. Two attempts to answer them recently converged in my inbox, and both intrigued me enough to be worth a look.
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.
This week, VIP art fair, Gugg Berlin closing, Lucian Freud and Yayoi Kusama in London, ideology and housing projects, biodegradable Legos, elderly hipsters (circa 2062) talk about social media and Murakami in Qatar.
When the VIP (Viewing in Private) Art Fair kicks off this Saturday January 22, there won’t be mad dash of collectors behind the gates, ready to snap up any work on view. The only crush might be an overloaded server or a long login time as patrons struggle to sign in. VIP marks the first digital-only commercial art fair: prospective buyers will simply visit the fair’s website and virtually peruse galleries’ wares for the event’s duration, through January 30. Founded by James Cohan Gallery, directed by Noah Horowitz and Stephanie Schumann and featuring 138 galleries from 80 different countries, of every magnitude from Marianne Boesky to Winkleman Gallery, the VIP Art Fair is a uniquely expansive event. But it’s also not as different as it initially appears.
We will be chiming in about the VIP art fair tomorrow, but until then I couldn’t resist sharing this snark from art blogger Tyler Green.
A website is somehow an “art fair?” Uh, OK. I’m pleased to announce that MAN is now the Modern Art Notes Art Fair.
Today marks the first (and only) full week of the world’s first online-only art fair. Ending on January 30, the VIP Art Fair has already begun to make waves. How is the fair fairing? Well, visitors are having mixed results. Due to heavy traffic the fair’s website has been loading slowly, harshing the buzz on a big opening weekend. You think the oldsters on dial-up will stand for that? Art Review reports that VIP Art Fair might be stealing your email address. Critics and gallerists complains about the molasses-like speeds. I complain about the Tweet-share button. Here’s a post-weekend guide to the VIP Art Fair, including my own initial impressions.
In another giant leap for art online, Google has released Art Project, a collaboration with a group of 17 international art museums, including New York’s own Metropolitan and Museum of Modern Art, to put their collections online. But this isn’t just a rehash of some online slideshow. Museums participating in Art Project can be digitally toured in two ways: as a Google Street View-style walking trip through the physical museum itself, as well as an artwork-by-artwork tour, with masterpieces of museum collections viewable in a slick image window. Here’s what Art Project does better than any other digital art viewer out there.
Vaguely-defined art startup Art.sy has found some pretty incredible backers, among them some of the biggest names in both contemporary art and tech. Larry Gagosian, Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Russian heiress and contemporary art world butterfly Dasha Zhukova and Wendi Murdoch (wife of Rupert) are teaming up with young CEO Carter Cleveland to launch a “personalized online fine-art emporium,” Artinfo reports.
Yet the problem with turning contemporary art into a full-fledged business outside of the gallery game is that you run the risk of alienating art’s flighty cool factor. What troubles could art start-ups face?
We’ve all wished we could break into an art collector’s house at times, just to take a look at the wealth of objects out of the public eye. Aside from being awesome aggregations of unique things, collections also communicate something about a person, their aesthetic tastes and their own preferences. Collectionof is a new website that brings the private stashes of some cultural figures to public view. Here, you can check out artist Cory Arcangel’s magazine choices or Brooklyn musician C. Spencer Yeh’s CD rack. Of course, some of it’s for sale, too.