VIP 2.0 creates active online marketplace, 73,000 register for seven day event

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VIP 2.0 creates active online marketplace, 73,000 register for seven day event
Yoko Ono, Doors, 2011. Installation view: Galerie Lelong, New York. Photo: Michael Bodycomb © Yoko Ono. Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- VIP 2.0, the second edition of the VIP Art Fair, has confirmed its status as the leading online platform for contemporary art as 160,000 visits were made over seven days from 155 countries, viewing 1.5 million pages.

Bringing 135 galleries from 35 countries, exhibiting 1,500 works by 1,100 artists, to this broad international audience, VIP Art Fair has a firm position in the cultural calendar. Significantly, VIP 2.0 saw a growth in visitor numbers from key emerging markets, including a 278% increase in visitors from India, 288% UAE, 277% Brazil, 409% Turkey, 319 % Mexico and 456% from Chile.

Participating galleries reported they made sales to new and existing clients, developed a client base in geographies where they have not had business before, and that their artists were pleased to see them exploring new ways of exhibiting their work.

Lisa Kennedy, chief executive of VIP Art Fair, said: “The second edition of the VIP Art Fair has proven itself as a meaningful event that provided access to the most exciting contemporary artists as presented by the world’s most dynamic galleries. The Fair was effective in making connections and providing stimulus that is vital to an active international art market. Building on the success of this year’s Fair, we’re looking forward to holding our next event VIP Paper on 19th – 21st April, as well as VIP Photo (July 12th – 14th) and VIP Vernissage (September 20th – 22nd) later this year.”

Felipe Dmbad, co-founder of Mendes Wood, Sao Paolo said: “VIP Art Fair is such an amazing opportunity for new markets, like Brazil, where the general audience has low access to global contemporary art information. Having the possibility of getting in touch with all the best galleries and artists is priceless. The Fair will educate new markets, and help the development of new collectors and a larger audience.”

Exhibitors capitalised upon the rich potential of the Internet to present artwork of different media. Featured were 78 museum-scale installation works that took advantage of the unlimited space; 54 video and new media works were available for streaming; as well as almost 400 paintings hanging on booth walls and 300 sculptures shown with multiple views. Magdalena Sawon owner of Postmasters Gallery, New York who sold William Powhida’s, Exit Interview, 2011 a video artwork to a European foundation says, “We are especially pleased about the sale of this work, because video is not an easily collected medium and this fair is extremely well suited to present video and new media works.” Conversations trends on Twitter indicate that the presentation of video artworks were very well-received and considered an important offering of the fair.

Galleries demonstrated considerable innovation in curating their online booths. Matthieu Lelièvre, director at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris and Salzburg, says, “Because the Internet is moving so quickly, it was really important for us to show something very current. Not just works, but the entire program. That's why we presented a worldwide preview as part of an upcoming exhibition of London based artist Raqib Shaw. It was a real preview because no one has seen these works before. The ultimate in term of novelty is of course Terence Koh's performance, broadcast live, exclusively for the VIP Art Fair.” On the day of Terence Koh’s performance, Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac was the most visited booth.

Following considerable investment in the technology, the second edition focused on building a sense of community at the Fair with visitors logging in 1.5 million page views and saving works 40,000 times, which were shared via Facebook, Twitter and e-mail. VIP 2.0 also proved that it was a flexible and highly responsive to its audience. Over the course of the Fair, the integrated chat messaging system was opened up to the whole community, progressively supporting conversations between visitors and exhibitors.

VIP 2.0 was a rich resource for the art audience to engage online. Visitors reported being introduced to new galleries (gallery booths logged 810,000 visits); exploring in depth information on artists and artworks, with an estimated 9,050,000 artwork views; enjoying looking at artwork in the privacy of their own environment without distraction; being introduced to new artists, and returning to the fair multiple times to carefully view artworks.

NY collector Amy Phelan writes, “An advantage that the VIP Art Fair has over the ’traditional’ fairs is that you can avoid the chaos of navigating through a maze of booths, and instead simply click on each gallery from a map with great ease. You have the ability to save the works you like to "My Collection," and return to them once you've looked at everything. It's a great way to compare works from different galleries and decide what you like best.” And Dennis Scholl, collector from Miami and Aspen adds, "I found the VIP Art Fair particularly valuable as a collector for looking at young gallerists’ programs, because in traditional fairs, they are restricted to one artist shows. At VIP 2.0, you could really get a feel for an emerging gallery's program and the type of work that is their focus. "

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