As art events around the globe were cancelled this year, UNTITLED, ART founder Jeff Lawson stepped up to the plate with a concept that went beyond the average online viewing room: the world’s first virtual reality art fair. The debut VR edition of UNTITLED took place in August, and thanks to the use of video game software, collectors could navigate the platform as though strolling the aisles of a real art fair.
Several years ago, Lawson—who produced large-scale trade shows for more than a decade before starting UNTITLED—began brainstorming how he could bring the fair to a wider audience, and eventually teamed up with art and technology company Artland to bring his vision to life.
Still, he does not see the virtual experience as a replacement for IRL fairs, but rather as a complement to them. “Nothing will replace the experience of seeing art in person, or the community that art fairs, biennials, and large gatherings create,” Lawson said.
We caught up with Lawson to hear about some of his favorite works available right now on Artnet Galleries, as well as what he has been reading, watching, and listening to lately.
Jeff Lawson’s Favorite Things
Movie: One serious, one funny: Five Easy Pieces and Dumb and Dumber.
Party favor: Rye on the rocks.
Restaurant: It depends on what I want to eat.
Quarantine hobby: Mountain biking.
Artist: The first artwork I bought was by Justine Kurland. That work will always be special to me.
TV show: I just binge-watched four seasons of Fargo.
Book you’ve read recently: I tend to read several books at once. I just finished Titan: The Life of John D. Rockefeller, Sr. by Ron Chernow.
Podcast: “SmartLess” with Jason Bateman, Sean Hayes, and Will Arnett.
Food to eat for breakfast: Eggs over easy or poached on toast.
Way to celebrate success: With loved ones and friends.
Top Gallery Picks
“My collection reflects a broader approach, as I have work that is figurative, conceptual, abstract, photographic and sculptural,” Lawson says. “There are a lot of contradictions in my collection. I don’t have a specific genre or style that I gravitate toward. It is cliché, but if I like a work, I like it.”