Galleries converge online

The second edition of the VIP Art Fair 2.0 began on February 3. The fair, which is the brainchild of New York gallerists James and Jane Cohan along with collectors Jonas and Alessandra Almagren, is the world's first international art fair to be conducted online. The week-long fair will be on till February 8, and can be accessed by anyone with an Internet connection and a passion for art.

Following the first edition of VIP, several international fairs began to include an online component to their on ground edition, the most notable being Art Dubai, which is held in March. The fair has six booths -- premier large, premier medium, premier small, emerging, focus and editions & multiples, which cost galleries anywhere between $5,000 to $20,000 to exhibit in.

Four Indian galleries, all from Mumbai, are also participating in the fair. The Guild, owned by Shalini Sawhney for instance, has displayed paintings and installations of well-established artists like TV Santhosh, Vidya Kamat, and Riyas Komu, while  The Loft at Lower Parel has showcased the works of foreign artist Guler Ates, among others. The other two participating galleries are Chemould Prescott Road and Gallery Maskara.

In total, 135 galleries from 35 countries are participating in the fair. Visitors can tour the booths of these galleries, read the information on the artist, watch videos of private collections and create a tour for others, by registering at the site. However, serious collectors, who would want to chat with the gallerists can do so by buying a pass for the fair. "We are not an e-commerce site," says Jane Cohan, director of press relations, who insists that no transactions will take place online. Interested buyers are encouraged to take it offline with the galleries.

Visit to take a tour of the Indian galleries participating in the fair.

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