From Yearly VIP Art Fair to Year-Round VIP Art – artmarketblog.com
In an effort to take advantage of the rapidly developing online art market, the people behind the annual online VIP Art Fair have announced that the site will be transformed to a year-round online art market portal which will be known as VIP Art. VIP Art will allow galleries to present a rotating selection of inventory and new work by stable artists which will be available to collectors and investors 365 days a year.
According to Severin Andrieu-Delille, VP of Product & Engineering, ”With VIP Art we wanted to further simplify and open up the experience to allow users to really use the tools we built for them without hassle. A lot of the site is now accessible without registration. We optimized the platform for mobile devices, improved the viewing experience on all screen sizes using responsive layouts, improved the management tool for our galleries and enhanced the browsing and searching experience. We intend to keep rolling out exciting new features in the weeks ahead.”
In addition to the online gallery, VIP will continue to host ongoing time-based events similar to the original VIP Art Fair. To celebrate the expanded site, VIP Vernissage will be the first event of VIP Art, aggregating online the in-gallery September exhibitions of its galleries. VIP Vernissage will take place from 18th of September to the 7th of October and will feature galleries from six continents.
According to the VIP Art website, “VIP Vernissage presents the Fall debut exhibitions from recognized international contemporary art galleries. Amid the flurry of compelling exhibitions that open the cultural season, VIP Art ushers in a new way to discover and collect fine artwork. We invite collectors to acquire distinctive artwork instantly from around the world, exclusively online”.
Two additional time-based events have been planned for later in the year beginning with VIP Asia (October 23rd to November4th) which will be followed by VIP Editions (November 23rd to December 21, 2012). Other changes to the site include a number of new social networking and sharing tools that will allow users to share favourite works as well as follow artists and galleries.
Although the changes will give galleries as well as as collectors and investors a more flexible and accessible art sales platform, the changes essentially make VIP Art just like any other online gallery. The characteristics and features that made VIP Art Fair unique have now been made redundant in order to create a more commercially viable site. It is no secret that the online VIP Art Fairs have not been as successful as many predicted they would be, but I really wonder whether the changes will be beneficial. I would have thought that the time-sensitive hype that surrounded the launch of each annual VIP Art Fair was the most valuable feature of the venture. Perhaps they will prove me wrong.
**Nicholas Forrest is a Sydney/London based art market analyst, art consultant and writer. He is the founder of the Art Market Blog (artmarketblog.com) which offers independent commentaries as well as research and analysis on the current art market, and has recently been published in Fabrik magazine, Verve magazine, Visual Art Beat magazine, Australian Art Collector magazine, Art & Investment magazine and many others. Nic has made several radio appearances (both nationally and internationally) as an art market expert and has received press from the likes of the New York Times, Conde Nast Portfolio and Times of London.
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