The second edition of Unseen Photo Fair 2013
closed its doors last night, with continued reports of strong sales to both museums, international collectors and first-time buyers, praise of the excellent quality of unseen work, and buzzing atmosphere.
General Manager Sasha Stone was delighted with the sales results, and also with the increased visitor figures: "We have welcomed collectors from across Europe, the United States, Dubai, Russia and Japan this week. These were supported by the strong Dutch love of contemporary photography. At Unseen we see a knowledgeable and experienced public visiting the fair and festival ground."
Fifty-three top international galleries attended Unseen Photo Fair 2013, including Stevenson (Cape Town, South Africa), Aperture (New York, US), Kuckei + Kuckei (Berlin, Germany), Juliette Jongma (Amsterdam, The Netherlands), NextLevel Galerie (Paris, France), The Wapping Project Bankside (London, UK) and M97 Gallery (Shanghai, China).
Strong sales were reported throughout the fair. Significant among them were Cristina de Middel at first-time exhibitor Galeria Tagomago (Barcelona, Spain & Paris, France), who sold her series SYFW (Snap Your Fingers and Whistle), ed. 2 of 5, for 25,000 to a private buyer. Likewise Robert Morat Galerie (Hamburg, Germany) sold his entire wall of Peter Puklus (some pieces several times over), and Flowers Gallery (London, UK) reported that they sold five works by Tom Lovelace to a museum collection.
MORE VISITORS FOR THE FAIR AND FESTIVAL
Over 24,000 visitors were welcomed to the fair and festival, a programme that included JR's INSIDE OUT Project, Unseen Book Market, Unseen Living Room, and firestarters presents Unseen Theatre.
SPECTACULAR GROWTH OF THE ONLINE COMMUNITY
The Unseen online community has grown spectacularly. More than 2,500 people have started their digital photography collections on the Unseen website. During the week of the fair and festival, the website was visited more than 50,000 times. The Facebook community has grown to 18,500 fans with a reach of more than 300,000 in the last week, while the Tumblr community has over 275,000 followers.
RISING STARS: DAISUKE YOKOTA AND PETER PUKLUS
Daisuke Yokota (1983, Saitana, Japan) is the first recipient of The Outset | Unseen Exhibition Fund, the new institutional platform for emerging talent in contemporary photography. A chosen international curatorial committee was asked to select one artist represented at Unseen Photo Fair who has not yet had a solo exhibition in The Netherlands to exhibit his/her work in the 3H solo exhibition room at Foam from February to March next year.
Sawako Fukai of G/P Gallery (Tokyo, Japan) commented that after the announcement of Daisuke Yokota as the recipient of The Outset | Unseen Exhibition Fund, buyers rushed to buy his works, with more than 15 pieces sold. The gallery also reported great improvement in sales from 2012, with collectors whom they had previously met now returning with more knowledge of the artists they represent.
Robert Morat of Robert Morat Galerie (Hamburg, Germany) commented: I had my first sale within five minutes of the opening, covering our costs on the first night. We have had great sales, with great sales still pending. We sold many works of Peter Puklus (1980, Hungary). The fact that his work can now be seen in Foam, and he was also selected as a 2013 Foam Talent has helped enormously. I am really staying true to the Unseen concept because I have seen that it really works here.
Daisuke Yokota and Peter Puklus were both selected as 2013 Talents of international photography magazine, Foam Magazine.
Ola Lanko (1985, Ukraine) won the ING New Talent Photography Award with her work Selective Encyclopedia For Visual Metaphor, a collection of social characteristics based on her research on the theme. And last but not least, Heikki Kaski (1987, Espoo, Finland) won the Unseen Dummy Award 2013 with his dummy, Tranquillity, named after a small town in California where the work was shot. The dummy will be printed and published by Lecturis
Diana Stigter of Stigter Van Doesburg (Amsterdam, The Netherlands): Last year it went very well: a dream debut. Everyone was so enthusiastic and we were curious to know if it would be the same. We have done at least as well as last year.
Elie Domit of East Wing (Doha, Qatar): Unseen is the ideal example of how a refreshing fair should be - the energy, the people, the environment and the staff. You can feel that everyone involved put his/her heart and soul into it, which creates a buzzing energy. As a gallery, Unseen gives you the possibility to be as brave as you can be in a fair context by providing an engaging audience. If the fair maintains this intimacy and content, it will stay a nurturing and progressive fair, looking into the future of photography.
Timothy Persons of Gallery Taik Persons (Berlin, Germany & Helsinki, Finland) said: Unseen has the potential to become a very essential fair for young artists. Unseen has great international meaning... As for sales we did exactly what we wanted, and more. I have been at many fairs and I think the organisation of Unseen is one of the best I have ever experienced.
Hannes Kuckei of Kuckei + Kuckei (Berlin, Germany): Everybody is very relaxed so we have had lots of time with curators and buyers. We were not expecting the fair to be so international. We have met people from Tokyo, Los Angeles, London and Brussels. Unseen really did a great job with the website and communications in advance. We will definitely come next year!
Nina Gomiashvili of Pobeda Gallery (Moscow, Russia): I am overwhelmed by how we have been hosted here. I have been at fairs in New York, Basel and Paris, and this is something really exceptional. This is my first time in Amsterdam and I feel pampered. We are showing three different artists with different approaches and each has received equal attention.
Charlie Fellowes of Edel Assanti (London, UK): We have had a tremendous response to the works we exhibited at this year's fair, particularly Noémie Goudal's forthcoming series. We made strong sales to new and existing clients, and were delighted with the broad institutional interest in several of the artists on our stand.
Condé Nast Traveller of Unseen 2013: Start planning your visit for 2014!