Virtual Artists and Robots of London Summer Arts Festival
An interview with René Marino-Sasson
by Kay Hare
In the second series of interviews with Virtual Artists, we take a closer look at their next summer exhibition 2021 in partnership with Robots of London and interview the organiser Rene Marino-Sasson who discusses how artists can participate and the advantages to the buyer by using online platforms and in particular Virtual Artists. The exhibition is the largest so far and will be spread across three very modern virtual Exhibition halls, the event has almost over 100 artists and hundreds of artworks available for purchase. There will be a myriad of artworks available from artists all over the world to include paintings, video art, and sculptures. This is the first large-scale event with many more planned for the future.
DID THE PANDEMIC INSPIRE THIS EXHIBITION AND THE ARTISTS PARTICIPATING?
Virtual Artists was a project originally born to offer a solution to the pandemic problem but not solely centered for this purpose. As virtual art galleries have become increasingly popular over the past years, as well as continuous online presence (meaning us, people…collectively, as a society) there is no doubt, the future looks indeed more digital, and we are simply moving along with the times.
We also wanted to give the artists a unique opportunity to present their works on a very realistic real-life platform, which I personally think that we have successfully achieved. Even the largest and most popular virtual art galleries in the world haven’t come close to what we offer, in terms of graphics, interactivity, and real-life likeness to a physical exhibition. Most of those mentioned galleries still offer a basic 360 image with points of interest that you can click into. There is no live talking, only basic message chats are available. However, on our platforms, you can ‘walk’ around the gallery, with a selected avatar, which you can customize to look just like yourself, as well as having many other avatar options to select from.
Artists have the chance to talk live and in real-time with other artists, visitors and potential buyers about their work and we welcome interactivity between people as much as possible. Usually, our events are packed with visitors and there is a great atmosphere between everyone, and you can often overhear great discussions about art!
WHAT ARE THE CRITERIA FOR EXHIBITING
We invite and wish to give the chance to as many talented artists as possible to get discovered, increase their visibility, promote their work, and potentially sell through us. We are often on the lookout for new talents, so we find our artists on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. We also recruit reputable artists, with years of work behind them, as well as popular Instagram artists. The criteria for the selection are simple: talent and the evaluation of marketable work.
HOW DOES THE VIEWER LOG INTO THE EXHIBITION? WILL THEY BE ABLE TO PURCHASE WORKS OF ART THERE AND THEN DIRECTLY? OR IS THERE AN AUCTION INVOLVED?
The viewer is able to log into the exhibition by simply logging onto our website www.virtualartists.co.uk at the time and date of the exhibition opening event, and click on ‘Enter Gallery’. A potential buyer will also be able to purchase the paintings through our website, by clicking under ‘Shop’.
IF THE ARTWORK IS SOLD WILL IT BE TAKEN DOWN?
Yes, and it will be shown as ‘sold’ immediately after the purchase until we take it off the website so that nobody can mistakenly purchase an artwork that is no longer available.
HOW CAN WE ENSURE THE ARTWORK WILL ARRIVE WITH THE BUYER SAFELY AND ON TIME? WHAT ARE THE DELIVERY EXPECTATIONS?
We expect the artist to ship the artwork as soon as possible after the purchase and artists have always been happy to comply with those rules. We can also advise our artists if requested suggestions for good and reliable shipping companies. As for delivery expectations, shipping times may vary from country to country, but as long as the package has been sent properly and there is a tracking number checking the status of its arrival the delivery is guaranteed.
ARE YOU ATTRACTING NFT ARTISTS AND HOW?
No, presently we are not dealing with NFT (non-fungible token artists) or selling through Bitcoin we use pounds as our currency.
IF THE VIEWER WISHES TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT A WORK OF ART WILL THERE BE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TALK TO THE ARTIST WHILE VIEWING?
Certainly! If the artist happens to be present at the launch of the exhibition, a visitor can definitely talk to the artist.
IF AN ARTIST WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE WHAT IS THE FINAL CALL FOR ADMISSION?
Usually, this information is given to the artist privately in our introduction email. The deadlines for admission can vary, depending on how much interest there is in a particular exhibition. We set a number limit per participating artist for every exhibition. If an exhibition is very popular, it can be fully booked in a matter of two weeks. So we usually review deadlines every ten days until we reach our maximum limit, hence why I cannot give you a specific date for ‘the final call’ as this can change very quickly. As for now, we still have a few spaces available for this exhibition.
For more information