NEW YORKIt is no secret that there was dealer disgruntlement over the first edition of the online VIP Art Fair, which took place over the last week of January
NEW YORK— It is no secret that there was dealer disgruntlement over the first edition of the online VIP Art Fair, which took place over the last week of January. High visitor numbers caused pages to load slowly, and the fair’s much-touted chat function was disabled for the duration of the event. Several weeks after the fair closed, there were rumors of an email circulating among galleries that raised the possibility of dealers banding together to ask for reimbursement. Now, VIP’s organizers have made a proactive move to blunt the aftereffects of its troubled debut, offering a retroactive 50 percent discount on the fair to all participants. The fair is also fundamentally reorganizing its innovative business model.
To ensure that VIP can move forward both in terms of its visitors’ experience and its exhibitors’ expectations, fair co-founder Jane Cohan says that she and her fellow organizers — her husband, art dealer James Cohan, and Internet entrepreneurs Jonas and Alessandra Almgren — are looking at ways to keep the site active throughout the year. It’s been the goal of the site to “to aggregate the world’s great galleries,” she said. “If you search for leading galleries online you will be able to find them here, it will be an active directory, sortable by city.”
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