Art in the time of corona


As much of Europe begins this week in lockdown due to the severe outbreak and spread of the coronavirus, we’ll be looking to art as a means of inspiration and escapism during this worrying time.


With your health and wellness our biggest concern, here are two new digital experiences to help you indulge your creative side from the safety of your sofa. Take care of yourselves and each other.



Art Basel launches Online Viewing Rooms


Art Basel Hong Kong 2

 Leeahn Gallery © Art Basel

Art Basel Hong Kong

Art Basel in Hong Kong 2019 © Art Basel


After the cancellation of this year’s Art Basel Hong Kong fair, Art Basel announced that the first iteration of its new Online Viewing Rooms will be live from March 20 to March 25, with VIP preview days from March 18 to March 20.


The new digital initiative will allow all galleries that were accepted to the 2020 fair to show works that they had originally planned to bring to Hong Kong to Art Basel's global network of patrons, as well as new collectors and buyers. Collectors will be able to browse more than 2,000 works, searching by galleries, artists, and medium.


Adeline Ooi, Director Asia, Art Basel said: “While the Online Viewing Rooms cannot replace our 2020 fair in Hong Kong, we firmly hope that it will provide a strong support to all the galleries who were affected by the cancellation of our March show.”


The Online Viewing Rooms will be available via the Art Basel website and the Art Basel App.



KAWS gives us augmented-reality sculptures


Acuteart Kaws Companionextended Exhibition Brown London 1 Web

KAWS, COMPANION (EXPANDED) in London, 2020, augmented reality. Courtesy: KAWS and Acute Art.

Acuteart Kaws Companionextended Exhibition Brown Paris 1 Web

KAWS, COMPANION (EXPANDED) in Paris, 2020, augmented reality. Courtesy: KAWS and Acute Art.


If we didn’t love KAWS (AKA Brian Donnelly) already, the US artist has partnered with London-based VR and AR production house Acute Art to create an AR art project. Users of the Acute Art app will be able to view one of KAWS’s trademark Companion characters floating in 12 major locations including at the Millennium Bridge in London.


In addition, KAWS has made 25 editions of the AR sculpture available to acquire via the Acute Art website. Owners will be able to place, capture, and document these AR works at different locations using the Acute Art app. Owners can keep the AR sculptures private or make them publicly available for anyone who has downloaded the app.


Jacob De Geer, Acute Art CEO, said: “Acute Art will revolutionise the way AR art can be experienced. KAWS, an artist with an unparalleled global fan base, is the perfect artist to launch the Acute Art app. His editions will demonstrate that works of art in virtual space can be just as precious and sought-after as those in our physical surroundings. In fact, they are even more exciting when shared with audiences across the globe on social media.”



*Cover image: KAWS, COMPANION (EXPANDED) in Serengeti, 2020, augmented reality. Courtesy: KAWS and Acute Art.