A visit to an art exhibition can be a daunting experience for many, especially if faced with judgmental looks from the staff, questioning your presence there.
Last year, the fears of many were put to rest when VIP Art Fair, the world’s first virtual contemporary art exhibition, was launched, which allowed people to browse and purchase artworks from the comfort of their home. After its unprecedented launch, VIP returns this July, expanding its offering to include an exhibition dedicated entirely to modern photography from the world’s leading galleries.
The month-long event, titled VIP Photo will enable art enthusiasts to browse through a diverse selection of photos from galleries in countries such as Lebanon, India, Hong Kong, China, Argentina and Switzerland. In addition, these works can be accessed completely free of charge.
Liz Parks, director of VIP Art Fair says of the exhibition, ‘the cutting-edge technology of the VIP website is an ideal platform for photography as high-resolution photos can be viewed in their utmost detail.’
The exhibition’s name, which actually stands for ‘Viewing in Private’, is a true testament to the idea behind the fair. Visitors to the VIP website can zoom in to examine details of artworks in the privacy of their own environment without being distracted. An added bonus is being able to browse through online galleries in comfort, while avoiding the chaos that you would find at a traditional art fair. Each gallery provides comprehensive details of the artwork and the artist, thus empowering the viewer.
For a market such as the Middle East, an exhibition of this scale enables participating galleries to perform on a global platform alongside other international galleries. ‘Our Middle Eastern galleries often say that they like to participate in VIP’s programme as it gives them access to a vetted international collecting audience – the collectors who might attend Art Basel or Frieze – but for whom a physical journey to the Middle East is not currently on their calendar,’ Parks points out.
The inaugural VIP Photo will see the participation of Lebanese-based gallery Espace Kettaneh and Sakshi Gallery from Mumbai which will be showcasing Middle Eastern photographers alongside more established Western practitioners such as Gregory Crewdson.
*VIP Photo starts today and runs until August 12th