Gagosian Gallery opens virtual doors to VIP Art Fair online – seven days to go

Gagosian Gallery launches its Viewing In Private Art Fair (VIP Art Fair) billed as “the world’s first exclusively online art fair”. Viewing in Private” has assembled 139 of the world’s leading contemporary art galleries from 30 countries in what they are calling an “unprecedented live event”.

VIP Art Fair is free to browse, though registration is required.

VIP tickets allow for special access including:
Integrated chat and messaging system for live interaction with galleries
Eligibility to view galleries’ private rooms
Price ranges for each artwork, and ability to search within certain price ranges
Access to the VIP Lounge

Opens on Saturday, January 22, 2011 at 8:00 a.m. EST and concludes on Sunday, January 30, 2011, at 7:59 a.m. EST.

You can browse online from Saturday, January 22 to Sunday, January 30, 2011 but if you want to go deeper into the experience and interact, you will have to pay $100 if you want to have unlimited access to the fair from now for the entire week or $20 after the 24 January.

The VIP Art Fair is divided into three distinct exhibition halls:
VIP Premier: comprised of 91 leading galleries, each presenting 15 to 20 works depending on booth size – large or medium.
VIP Focus: comprised of 24 galleries, each presenting eight works by a single artist.
VIP Emerging: comprised of 24 galleries, each presenting 10 works produced within the last two years by emerging artists.

“Increasingly over the last decade the artworld has gone global, with important events happening around the world. Art collectors from Dallas to Kuala Lumpur can find it difficult to travel to all of the events and yet they don’t want to miss out. Three years ago, when we began conceptualizing VIP Art Fair, we wanted to harness the international reach of the Internet to give access to the best contemporary art from anywhere in the world,” stated James Cohan, owner of James Cohan Gallery in New York and Shanghai.

VIP Art Fair is co-founded with James’ partner Jane Cohan and Internet entrepreneurs Jonas and Alessandra Almgren. “By using the traditional art fair as a model, VIP Art Fair offers entrée to the most critically acclaimed artists and the leading dealers who represent them. This new platform allows collectors to see the art, learn about the art and also understand how to acquire the art.”

Visit VIP Art Fair is free to browse (registration is required) and offers a program of interactive and enriched viewing for VIP ticket holders.

In addition to artworks presented in the gallery booth, each gallery will bring a large selection of artwork to be held in their back-room inventories.

the visitor arrives in the Atrium, where they will find a map of the exhibition halls with each gallery represented. A click on a gallery name leads visitors into that gallery’s booth. The visitor can then choose to browse the fair by clicking from booth to booth or return to the map, which automatically keeps track of the galleries visited. In addition, directed searches can be made based on artist, gallery name or medium. VIP ticket holders also have the ability to search artworks by price range.

All visitors can explore the fair by following a specially created tour or they can design their own personalized tours, showcasing their favorite works, and sharing them with friends via email and Facebook. VIP ticket holders can also post their tours in the VIP Lounge — see more details below.

At VIP Art Fair, artwork is presented on a virtual wall in relation to other works of art and the human figure so that collectors can understand the scale and context of the works on view. An advanced zoom function allows collectors to examine the surface of an artwork. In addition, galleries provide supporting materials for each artwork, such as detail and installation views, video presentations and fact sheets, and an artist profile page. The idea is that well-informed collectors are empowered, through technology, to make intelligent decisions.

A key aspect of the fair is that it is a live event. The gallery booths are actively staffed and dealers are online for 12 to 18 hours a day to work with clients across the globe (for galleries with multiple international locations access can be available 24/7).

VIP ticket holders have the ability to connect one-on-one with gallery staff through an integrated chat and messaging system. Once these conversations are initiated (and they can be seamlessly transferred to Skype or telephone, as preferred), dealers can discuss works being offered in the booth and can provide access to their back room inventory directly on the ticket holder’s computer screen. Here, works can be shared with clients discreetly through tailor-made “private rooms.” This unique form of interaction allows dealers and clients to connect in real-time — as if sitting on opposite sides of the same
desk, even though they may be thousands of miles apart.