Will Art Silicon Valley Transform the Art World?

To woo tech collectors, Art Silicon Valley casts a wide net.

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Chul Hyun Ahn Untitled 617 Light Sculpture, plywood, LED lights, mirrors.
Photo: Courtesy C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore
Lin Jingjing China, Public Memory 3-2 (2013) mixed media on canvas (20 canvases).
Photo: Courtesy de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong
Wang Guofeng WHO ARE THEY? WHAT DO THEY SEE? (2011) Photograph printed on Canson paper (Etching rag).
Photo: Courtesy de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong
FAILE The Finest FAILE Bros (2014)acrylic, silkscreen ink, copper and fabric on wood, in steel frame.
Photo: Courtesy Galerie Ernst Hilger, Vienna
Mel Ramos Martini Miss #1 (2013) lightbox, steelcut, synthetic resin varnish, acrylic glass ed. 24.
Photo: Courtesy Galerie Ernst Hilger, Vienna
Chul Hyun AhnVoid Platform (2012) Cast concrete, LED lights, acrylic, hardware, mirrors.
Photo: Courtesy C. Grimaldis Gallery, Baltimore
APEX Untitled, spray paint on canvas (2012).
Photo: Courtesy White Walls, San Francisco
APEX Untitled spray paint on canvas (2012).
Photo: Courtesy WhiteWalls, San Francisco
Beili Liu Affine 5 (2012) Hand cut paper, graphite on birch panel.
Photo: Courtesy Vessel Gallery, Oakland
William Schwob Figure without Memory (2014) wood fired clay.
Photo: Courtesy Vessel Gallery, Oakland
MARCK's video sculptureArt Student (2014) LCD, metal, plastic, movie loop.
Photo: Courtesy Licht Feld Gallery, Basel
Nimai Kesten Flag (Golden Knot) (2013) canvas, acrylic, oil paint, polyester resin. Edition: 1/5.
Photo: Courtesy Licht Feld Gallery, Basel
Jacques Villeglé Square Jolivet, 12 juin (1987) décollage mounted on canvas.
Photo: Philip Cohen. Courtesy Modernism Inc., San Francisco
Erwin Blumenfeld Manina (1936)vintage gelatin silver print.
Photop: Philip Cohen. Courtesy Modernism Inc., San Francisco
Banksy SphinxFrom NYC "Better Out Than In" residency October, 2013.mixed media sculpture (original street work).
Photo: Courtesy Keszler Gallery, New York
Banksy VIP Rat Glastonbury (2005) spray paint on foam board, original street work.
Photo: Courtesy Keszler Gallery.

Dealers are gearing up for the first-ever edition of Art Silicon Valley San Francisco which opens to the public Thursday October 9 (not to be confused with Silicon Valley Contemporary, a new fair that debuted earlier this year). Organized by Nick Korniloff’s Art Miami company, the inaugural edition includes 75 galleries from the U.S., Europe, Asia, and South America. Fair organizers tout the strategic location of the fair at the San Mateo County Event Center as being “centrally located between Silicon Valley and San Francisco.”

The million-dollar question on everyone’s mind continues to be whether wealthy, tech-savvy entrepreneurs will gravitate towards collecting modern and contemporary art. And perhaps equally importantly, how long it will take for that to happen. Nearly every dealer we spoke with cited tapping into this relatively inactive demographic as a key reason for participating.

To Korniloff’s credit, dealers were unanimous in their confidence in his ability to unite galleries with buyers and draw crowds, citing his impressive track record with numerous fairs in Miami, as well as fairs in in Southampton and New York City.

“This will be a chance for a new market of art collectors and investors to see works which they might not otherwise have a chance to view without an art fair such as this,” said Chris Arnold of Keszler Gallery in New York. Arnold predicts the Banksy works the gallery is showing will “be well received and ​​will be a highlight of the show.”

Pascal de Sarthe of de Sarthe Gallery, Hong Kong, told artnet News: “We had a gallery in San Francisco from 1981 to 1990. This was a great opportunity to go back and have a presence there. Silicon Valley attracts lots of creative people, among them art aficionados, and we hope to establish a relationship with existing and new collectors coming to the fair.”

De Sarthe added that he wanted the gallery’s booth to reflect its focus on Asian and Western Postwar and contemporary art. He is bringing works by artists including Robert Indiana, Yayoi Kusama, T’ang Haywen, Bernar Venet and John Wesley as well as works by Chinese emerging artists Lin Jingjing, Wang Guofeng, Zhao Jinhe, and Zhou Wendou. “The works by the Chinese artists that we are showing are very different to what is known in the US of contemporary Chinese art,” he says.

Friedrich Hadorn of LICHT FELD Gallery, Basel, signed up for the fair after a positive experience at Context in Miami, calling fair organizer Art Miami “a great player with a large network,” and further citing the “booming economy” in the Bay Area. Hadorn plans to show works by Swiss video artist Marck, Hubert Kretzschmar, Ayakamay, Peter Dauphin genannt Muth, and Nimai Kesten.

Lonnie Lee, founder and director of Vessel Gallery in Oakland, told artnet News: “I am interested in introducing our artists to collectors in this region of the Bay Area. We’re only a bridge away, and local; I want collectors to know that quality, distinctive art produced in the Bay Area is being represented and shown in Oakland. The SF Peninsula is home to Stanford University and is the epicenter of technology and venture capital—these sectors value creativity, innovation, and quality.” Lee is bringing works by Nick Dong, Beili Liu, Cyrus Tilton, and William Schwob.

According to SFGate.com, Google and Facebook employees get in free, sparing these needy souls the $25 dollar admission.


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