In May, we broke the story that Amazon was planning to add art to their online offerings, and yesterday the deed was done: the company’s Fine Art store (beta) was born.
Send Me the JPEG at Winkleman Gallery is not a show about art, but about the art world. Its title derives from a new phenomenon wherein collectors forgo viewing art firsthand and instead buy works based on digital photographs alone. Those who still love encountering new art in person worry to what extent the online market will eat up art sales and, consequently, whether brick-and-mortar galleries can survive. In March, critic Jerry Saltz movingly voiced his concern about their demise: “The beloved linchpin of my viewing life is playing a diminished role in the life of art.”
Pandora doesn’t work here in Iceland. Nor does Netflix. The country doesn’t allow either, so my friends and I have all been swapping music and movies instead of streaming them. My friend who gave me the songs I am listening to right now got them through the Bittorrent hub Piratebay. I’m listening to London music from a Philly girl while living in a farmhouse in southern Iceland, all because the internet is slightly less global than I thought. It’s a strange world.
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.