Eye of the Collector, the next-generation alternative to the traditional art fair.

Nazy Vassegh portrait, Two Temple Place, 2019, Courtesy Eye of the Collector, Photo Alex Board
Nazy Vassegh portrait, Two Temple Place, 2019, Courtesy Eye of the Collector, Photo Alex Board

We caught up with Nazy Vassegh founder of Eye of the Collector, the next-generation alternative to the traditional art fair launching in central London.

Does London/the world need another art fair?
That’s an important and relevant question. I think it’s important to ask whether collectors’ evolving needs are being satisfied with the current art fairs on offer? Are fairs adapting to the changing times, are they creative enough for an industry that is all about innovation and creative expression? Are they edited and filtered enough to make the experience pleasurable for visitors? Are they enjoyable and value for money for exhibitors? My feeling is that there is an opportunity within the art fair arena for a smaller, more creatively driven fair that is a pleasure for visitors to attend, one that delights and excites in equal measure. This is what Eye of the Collector sets out to achieve.

Two Temple Place interior courtesy Eye of the Collector and Alex Board Phot
Two Temple Place interior courtesy Eye of the Collector Phot: Alex Board

You have chosen a great venue for the fair can you tell us a bit more about the venue
We looked for a long time for a venue that both had the ‘wow factor’ and that would also work in practical terms. When I walked through the grand doors of Two Temple Place I knew that I had found my venue. The building is not that well known yet is incredibly centrally located. It was commissioned in 1892 by William Waldorf Astor, then the richest man in the world, to be his estate office and private apartment. Astor, originally from New York, was an art lover, collector and philanthropist. The building’s carefully handcrafted decorative scheme was commissioned from the finest sculptors of the day and was an expression of Astor’s cultural beliefs and personal aspirations. As a launch venue for Eye of the Collector we couldn’t have found better.


Two Temple Place interior courtesy Eye of the Collector and Alex Board Photography

Will the fair just be a mini – Masterpiece?
No. The fair will share with Masterpiece, and indeed TEFAF, an interest in great art from all ages and a love of cross collecting. However, Eye of the Collector is an evolvement from traditional fairs, uniquely free of booths and taking place in an important historical building rather than a white tent. Intimate in scale, more like entering a collector’s home, works will be hung throughout the principle rooms of the mansion in a journey of artistic discovery.

Can you tell us something about some of the exhibitors?
We have deliberately been selective but broad in our choice of exhibitors. Art from across the ages will be on show from the very best galleries in their specific field, from antiquity through to contemporary.

Your dates are similar to Photo London and Draw Art Fair will there be some collaboration?
We deliberately chose our dates as we believe there is a growing art calendar moment in London in May. We are in close contact with both, Photo London especially as Somerset House is less than a 5-minute walk from our venue, and hope that we will all collaborate in due course.

Who would be your ideal visitor to Eye of the Collector?
We are looking for collectors that are interested in creative exploration and artistic discovery. The price range will be broad so we are encouraging new and established collectors at all levels to visit.

Finally, have you any strategy in place to minimise the carbon footprint of Eye of the Collector?
The fact that we are using an existing building that’s been used over the last 100 years rather than a temporary structure has very positive implications for our carbon footprint. We are also working to maximise our digital activities and facilities and by being near Somerset House, visitors can walk between two fairs in central London.

@eyeofthecollectorlondon

About Mark Westall

Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine Founder and co-publisher Art of Conversation and founder of the platform @worldoffad