My thoughts on VIP Art Fair-- I Told You So!
When I first heard about VIP Art Fair I was certain that the mainstream art world would launch into attack mode. After all, it is not hard to find notable art critics and art dealers who are vocal against the concept of selling art online. That said, it appears VIP Art Fair has received a ‘Get out of jail free’ card from some of those very critics. I’m not going to land myself in the mess of calling out names-- but those in the staple art blogging community know who they are and what they have said about selling art online in the past.
It is safe to say that anyone reading this blog knows of my work with http://www.myartspace.com/. Since 2006 I’ve been thrown into the fray as to whether or not selling art online is viable within the global art market. Having worked for an artists social networking site that happens to have eCommerce capability it goes without saying that I feel that selling art online is a viable solution for the art collector of today-- and more specifically tomorrow-- and that both artists and art dealers can benefit from online efforts toward that goal.
For example, in a Myartspace Blog article titled 'Art Prices Drop. Galleries Close Doors. Auction House Cuts Jobs.', which was posted on January 14th 2009, I stated, “Now is the time for artists, art dealers, and even auction houses to rethink the ways in which they sustain themselves during turbulent times.” I was referring to the importance of eCommerce and online exposure. Obviously the founders of VIP Art Fair-- and the galleries involved-- are rethinking how art can be sold. They are breaking from the traditional structure of the art market.
Prior to that article I wrestled with the topic. In a Myartspace Blog article titled 'Art and Recession: Time to Adapt', which was posted on November 6th 2008, I stated, “I think that some galleries may learn to appreciate ecommerce and other marketing strategies that are considered unconventional by the blunt of the art world at this time-- such as utilizing online social networking for exposure and global reach.”. Indeed-- if VIP Art Fair is successful I’m certain that gallerists worldwide will be more apt to embrace what the Internet can provide as far a selling art is concerned.
In another article, titled 'eCommerce is a Welcome Addition to the Art Market', I stated, “The possibility of a great shift makes sense when you consider the number of artists who have been utilizing the internet in order to gain exposure as well as the number who have explored the potential of eCommerce in recent years. It goes without saying that artists are leading this charge-- and that is exactly why gallerists will eventually pursue it in mass.”
I went on to say that, “galleries will have to fill a need that the artists they represent obviously desire-- the need for high online visibility and alternative marketing by utilizing eCommerce.” My guess is that artists in the near future will expect this from those who represent them.”. Again, VIP Art Fair-- if successful-- will give more credibility to what artists the world over already know-- that selling art online is viable and that online visibility is crucial for success.
In many of my past Myartspace Blog articles I wrote about the fact that the younger generation of artists and art collectors-- specifically the artists and art buyers of the future-- will come to expect an art market that is integrated with online efforts. Needless to say, in the past the blunt of my opinions concerning selling art online and online visibility have been scoffed at by specific individuals who apparently know more about the art market than I do-- so the praise they are giving for VIP Art Fair as being “brilliant” and “revolutionary” has hit me with one of those ‘I told you so!’ moments.
I know there is a degree of elbow-rubbing going on from some of these voices due to the status behind those involved with VIP Art Fair-- but I must say that I’m loving every bit of it! It is great to see that some of the more stuffy art critics, art dealers, and artists within the mainstream art world are now letting their guard down enough to at least consider the possibilities of selling art online and how profitable it may be in the future.
In closing, I do hope that history will remember that artists-- specifically emerging artists-- lead this charge. Emerging artists the world over embraced the capabilities of the World Wide Web and eCommerce long before galleries did-- and before art fairs became a mainstay of the art market. It just goes to show that sometimes the art market would be better off if the powers that be listened to artists. I firmly believe that artists are often more business savvy than art dealers realize.
Link of interest:
Take care, Stay true,