The recent VIP Art Fair, a virtual fair for top-end galleries and high-price artworks, which was unfortunately plagued by technical glitches, relaunched the question of whether fine art really can be successfully sold online?
The latest online art venture in the news is the newly launched Google Art Project. This is a collaborative partnership between Google and 17 of the world’s leading arts organisations, such as the Tate Britain, the National Gallery and the Met in New York.
Google's project enables anyone with access to sufficiently speedy Internet to take a virtual 360 degree tour of the participating galleries. Alternatively, choose to enjoy selected invidual artworks in high resolution, zooming in to view minute details.
Those of you who know and like Google Street View will be comfortable with navigating round these galleries online.
This evening I tried out Google Art Project from the comfort of my office. I took a trip to Museum Kampa in the Czech Republic and took a very close look at 'The Cathedral' by František Kupka. Then I popped into Tate Britain to see 'No Woman, No Cry' by Chris Ofili. And wow, the detail is amazing! Plus, no queues, no crowds and no tired feet.
Of course, this online viewing is no substitute for visiting the galleries and experiencing all that superb art in person. But as I am unlikely to physically visit Museum Kampa anytime soon, now at least I have an opportunity to discover some of its treasures, if only from a virtual distance.
Visit Google Art Project
Let me know what you think about Google Art Project.
Photo credit: No Woman, No Cry by Chris Ofili. Courtesy of Google Art Project