Art fairs have become a risky investment and a seemingly necessary sales opportunity in this art market. With more and more popping up across the globe throughout the year, not every gallery can put up the funds for each. Art fairs sell booth slots for on average $30,000 not including shipping and crating, insurance, and other "small" costs such as internet service. These costs add up quick, leaving galleries with a difficult financial decision; front the money with the potential for sales and profit, or resist the pressure of attending.
Although, these fairs offer a sometimes worthy investment, even established galleries must pick and choose which to attend. However, London-based gallerist Vanessa Carlos established a new kind of alternative style of the art fair. By collaborating with other galleries in the area, Carlos organized the sharing of space between the local galleries and visiting galleries, paired up in order to create an art fair community. This allowed both of the galleries to participate with little financial expense. It also introduced participants to other institutions and broadened the international art community. This environment that Carlos so efficiently created not only benefited the galleries themselves financially, but produced a less competitive arena, one that was more about working towards a common goal and less about individual success.
Following the success of London in 2016, this year Condo expanded to New York City with the same unique philosophy. 2018 looks to be even more promising as Carlos just released that Condo will be happening in Mexico City as well as Shanghai. With four major cities in under five years, Condo's quick expansion showcases the need for this kind of programming on an international level. The art fair format offers such great opportunity, but the pricing is increasingly eliminating newer and "middle-class" galleries, namely not the established, large businesses, and widening the gap of success.