Art collecting 6-Art fairs


At this point I would say that art fairs are highly relevant art market forums, understanding as forums the meeting point of art-works, galleries and collectors as the fundamental triangle that makes up the art market. There are more actors, for example the commissioners and some collectors are the ones who orchestrate the whole game. The curators are the ones who run the fairs or the ones who select the galleries and artists. After the application period, the organizing committee of the fair reviews the projects and selects the ones that are suitable, in other words, selects the galleries that will participate. Many factors play a role in this and each fair has its particularities.

I guess  that the expression "art week" is not totally unknown. This means that for a few days different art fairs are held simultaneously in the same city. Usually an art week is celebrated in a city around a main fair that motivates the celebration of other secondary fairs.

For example, in Madrid at the end of February or beginning of March the art week is celebrated. The main fair in Madrid is ARCO, around ARCO other fairs are held that are also important but are called secondary.

But what is the difference between all the fairs? It can be said that there are many differences, from the location where it is celebrated to the type of art that is presented. In Madrid, ARCO participates in artists with a consolidated career, established artists. The other fairs are therefore called satellite fairs and generally present emerging artists or artists who have been working for a long time but have not yet had the opportunity or artistic maturity to participate in a fair. ARCO's satellite fairs in Madrid are JUSTMAD, Urvanity Art, Hybrid or ART Madrid, among others. Each fair has its own personality and tries to be different from other fairs.

Visiting the fairs is for sure a must for collectors. It should not be thought that  consolidated collections only go to fairs like ARCO; some relevant collections acquire work at satellite fairs with the intention of promoting emerging art. This, translated into the language of young collecting, having the work of an artist who is already in an important collection is an indication that this or that artist may have an interesting career in the future and be priced higher.

It is also advisable to go to fairs with your homework done. The fairs publish information on the artists who are going to participate on the fair web pages. I sincerely believe that it is an interesting exercise to take a look at the artistic offer before going to the fair, to select works or artists that meet the lines of the collection or that are simply interesting from some aspect such as aesthetics. I recommend finding out about the career of the artists whose work may interest us and look for those works at the fair and if you want to talk to the gallery owners.

Walking around the fair trying to be inspired, impressed or discover hidden gems is really exhausting and quite inefficient. It really is frustrating to find out afterwards through the press or a well-known collector that we have not noticed a work or artists that would have interested us.

I am recounting my experience with fairs as a gallery owner and as a young collector. For a better illustration I leave an article that I hope will resolve questions or generate others that motivate further investigation. Although we are in installment 5 of this blog, it is not too late to say something. The advantage of academic texts is that they always allow the information to be expanded with other texts, academic studies always include the bibliography and that is an interesting guide.

In this case, I propose a text about the ARCO fair as the red line of the analysis. The text talks about many other things like Latin American art or other important fairs in the world. I leave the quote and the link. The text is available in Spanish for anyone who wants to read it.

de Guzmán, D. A., Guijarro, J. L., & de Toledo Müller, P. Á. Contemporary art fairs in Spanish: the case of ARCOmadrid. (Es)

The link to the text is freely accessible at the time we write this blog and any mention in any document that is published must respect the principles of authorship and copyright.

I will attend or comment in private on questions or doubts that come to:

I hope you enjoy it and see you on the alert.