Art fairs are like trade shows. They bring together upcoming artists and cutting-edge trends in art from around the world under one roof for one grand event. Art fairs are an excellent place for art dealers, collectors, curators and buyers to keep up with art trends and one could buy a collection of art from around the world at a single event. For these reasons, there has been an enormous increase in art fairs, starting with a mere 3 contemporary art fairs in 1970 to 269 fairs in 2015. Furthermore, art fairs are no longer restricted to central art hubs such as New York or Paris, but are being increasingly located in more emerging art markets such as Brazil, Spain, Dubai.
With the increasingly globalized art world, art fairs have been gaining relevance as they allow for art professionals to witness and buy samples of works from all over the world at one time and place. This in turn has changed the way in which art is being sold; moving away from traditional art gallery purchasing practices, to buying a collection of works from numerous galleries and artists at a single time. Art galleries and artists are finding art fairs an excellent place to make themselves known and for presenting their art to the global market.
One can expect to see a range of art professionals at art fairs, including curators, collectors, buyers, and dealers. As a result, galleries are increasingly participating in art fairs. Especially for those galleries that are not located in urban centers, art fairs can be a great place for galleries to market themselves to international clients. Furthermore, art fairs are a great place for upcoming and young artists to get recognized by the international art world. Not only does this expose their brand to the art world, but art fairs provide them with an excellent networking opportunity. For those who don’t physically attend the art fairs, they can still see a examples of the works on the online exhibitor list, allowing homebuyers to participate in the event. The downside to this however, is that art fairs are extremely competitive in their selection process and lesser known artists and galleries may be overlooked in place of more well-known and established artists.
Finally, art fairs provide extended benefits to the host city’s economy. Hosting an art fair will increase the host city’s exposure to the global art world and will allow for local art forms and styles to be more widely recognized and valued. Hosting an art fair will attract people from around the world and greatly increase the tourism benefits to the host country or city. Art fairs are therefore great networking events for artists and galleries alike, as well as a single event for curators, buyers, dealers and collectors to expose themselves to upcoming trends and artists. Art fairs allow the art world to remain global and fluid with the exchange ideas and trends from smaller communities that have otherwise been unknown to the art world.