VIP Art Fair Tries Again to Be Huge

Artforum told us that the “VIP MFA Awardees Announced” yesterday, and that “The panel of six judges was composed of Matthew Higgs, director of White Columns; artist Diana Al-Hadid; Kate Fowle, director of ICI; RoseLee Goldberg, founder of Performa; Joachim Pissarro, professor at Hunter College; and artist O Zhang.”

But, what is this new-ish fair with these MFA awardees? And didn’t Jerry Saltz just lament last week about “a troubling development in the art world: bigness. Biennials have become sprawling and ubiquitous. Ditto art fairs.” in the story “It’s Going to Be Huge” in NY Magazine? So, do we really need yet another fair?

Let’s see.

Well, the VIP Art Fair is different; it’s VIP 2.0, as the first was in 2010. Also, this fair is completely held online. Holding something like this online doesn’t make viewing art more appealing, but it’s not “huge” in the sense that Saltz was talking. So, maybe there’s an upside. There are several series of shows, too:  VIP MFA, VIP Photo, VIP Vernissage, VIP Contemporary and VIP Paper. VIP MFA ends this week, June 8th, which you can (of course) check out online before it presumably disappears

Founded by James and Jane Cohan, of James Cohan Gallery in New York, the VIP Art Fair does give artists money. Again, Artforum with the numbers, “The artist Susana Perrottet (Zurich University of the Arts [ZHdK], Zurich) was selected as winner of VIP MFA and will receive, along with with her institution, $15,000. Runners up Chris Hood (San Francisco Art Institute, USA) and Emanuel Straessle (ZHdK, Zurich) will receive $10,000 and $5,000 respectively.”

Abigail Esman of Forbes strikes back writing earlier this year, “VIP Artfair Bombs Again: A Lesson in Art Marketing and Online Sales.” So, as to the longevity of this virtual fair, we’ll have to report back.


Write us your thoughts about this post. Play nice.