VIP Online Fair Re-Boots


Making a bold bid after a troubled first outing, VIP launches its second annual online-only art fair today. The fair will be online through Wednesday Feb 8.

VIP’s 135 international exhibitors from 35 countries will offer 1,500 artworks in their booths, by over 1,100 artists, spread over six virtual halls. Galleries could choose large, medium, small or “emerging” booths, which accommodate varying numbers of artworks. Each exhibitor has unlimited backroom space, akin to the iPads often wielded by gallerinas at real-world art fairs.

To date, visitors from 140 countries have registered as visitors. “We’ve worked hard at creating a community online,” Jane Cohan, one of the fair’s principal organizers and a principal at New York’s James Cohan Gallery, told AiA. “We want to welcome visitors from the very experienced collector to people who are enthusiasts but do not know the gallery scene.”

One new feature this year is the Editions and Multiples section, in which an international selection of a dozen nonprofits, from New York’s Rhizome to Beijing’s Ullens Center, are showing works at modest prices, such as CCA Wattis’s offering, a 2011 C-print by Catherine Opie for just $250.

Ed Winkleman, of New York’s Winkleman Gallery, who himself organized the Moving Image Fair of video art and participated in VIP’s inaugural fair last year, told AiA that the fair has served him well already: “We did make sales last year and overall enjoyed the experience, technical glitches aside. The data provided to us alone have definitely increased our knowledge about what the general public likes or dislikes in our booth. That information is priceless.”