photo basel is a relatively young art fair that takes annually place in June, during the highly-popular Art Basel. It is Switzerland’s first fair entirely dedicated to the photographic medium. The show truly aims to nourish and nurture this noble art form. The participating galleries showcase modern and contemporary photographs from both well-known artists and emerging talents. Another key point is the broad price range that meet almost all budgets. Therefore, the fair gathers a various public, from seasoned collectors to first-time buyers, alongside museums curators, journalist and simply art lovers. The venue is Volkshaus Basel, an exciting, newly renovated space that includes an events room, a beer garden, a restaurant and a club as well.
Sven Eisenhut shares his views!
photo basel 2021
21 September: 12pm – 9pm
22-24 September: 12pm – 8pm
25 September: 11am – 8pm
26 September: 11pm – 6pm
General Admission: CHF 20
Children Under 12: FREE
Insights photo basel
What would you say is the DNA of photo basel?
At photo basel one can indulge and explore some of the finest fine art photographic positions. It is a boutique fair which is highly dedicated to the medium of photography while still provide a personal touch – hospitality is everything to us.
What type of galleries are chosen to exhibit, and why?
So fair in the past we have been blessed to “choose” our exhibitors. Each year we follow strict guidelines – thus we have established a curatorial circle which is led by an Artistic Director. We look at the history of the gallery, of the exhibitions from the past to the present and also of the balanced roster of established but also emerging talents. Furthermore we evaluate the proposal which is tailer made for each edition of our fair.
What is the price range of pieces? Who is the average buyer?
It is hard to frame the price range – I would say that there is not much around 1000 Euros – It usually starts at 3000-4000 till 10’000 Euros. There have been sales of pieces up to 40’000 Euros. The average buyer is normally a sophisticated collector that wants to complements the existing collection but we also have many younger “buyers” that find access to the art world through photography.
“photo basel is a boutique fair which is highly dedicated to the medium of photography while still provide a personal touch.”
© photo basel
Who is the typical attendee of photo basel?
At the preview days our public consists mainly of collectors and institutional professionals. As the art basel week proceeds, the public gets more mixed and more heterogeneous. We welcome all art aficionados.
What strategy – physical as digital – will you adopt in medium to long term?
We have already embraced the technological aspect of the art world. In June 2019 we have launched our first “online store” in which each exhibiting gallery was able to sell one position. Last June – when our fair was cancelled, we launched the first virtual edition of photo basel – we were able to welcome over 20’000 individual visitors on our platform which we created with Kunstmatrix (from Berlin). Since then we have launched two addition online viewing rooms (dedicated to unique works) and also made a photo book platform for our publishers last December. Despite the huge technological advances, we and many of our stakeholders miss real life events and we can’t wait to be back – then with a more hybrid form which will combine the best of all worlds.
What are two other art fairs you would suggest?
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