Online shopping reaches art world

Jan 20, 2011

The world's first international online art fair hits the Internet this Saturday, putting contemporary art pieces worth $1 million and more just a mouse click away.

VIP Art Fair blows away the sometimes fusty, exclusive atmosphere of art galleries by placing 7,500 works from more than 2,000 artists on the Internet for the week-long fair.

More than 50 pieces are priced at $1 million or higher, while some 100 items are valued at less than $5,000. About 138 galleries in 30 countries are participating.

"All visitors can experience the thrill of discovery as they travel between galleries from diverse locations such as Sydney, Shanghai, Cape Town, Athens, London, Reykjavik, New York and Sao Paulo," organizers said in a statement.

Catalogs will feature the likes of Richard Prince, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Damien Hirst and Subodh Gupta.

New York art dealers James and Jane Cohan and Jonas and Alessandra Almgren said the week-long virtual art fair "re-configures the traditional art fair model for the Internet."

Visitors to www.vipartfair.com can search for an artist and access in-depth background information online.

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