© Gilles Compain, Acqua Series N° 1 - N°1 2-8ex, 66x100 courtesy Galerie Charron

© Gilles Compain, Acqua Series N° 1 –  N°1 2-8ex,  66 x100 cm – Courtesy Galerie Charron

In the anticipation of this year’s Rencontres d’Arles in Summer and the Paris art fair in Autumn, fotofever, a French contemporary photography art fair launched in 2011, tackles the age-old Chinese puzzle of why people are intimidated by the white cube with its very first instalment of “parcours fotofever Paris”. Running from 20 April till 01 May 2017, 8 galleries and their selected contemporary emerging artists in the French capital open their doors to the public and join fotofever’s effort in making the art- or photography-collecting process more transparent.

Cécile Schall, founder of fotofever, explains the genesis of this new chapter within the fotofever START TO COLLECT initiative that “seven out of ten French people have never stepped foot in a gallery, and only twenty percent have considered it as a place of purchase. The parcours emerged out of the need to encourage the public to cross the threshold of gallery doors, and to highlight the galleries’ role in guiding visitors, most notably new collectors!”

As its name implies in the English translation, parcours fotofever Paris is indeed a crash course for aspiring collectors who would like to discover young creative photographers and jump start their own personal collection. During the event, fotofever acts as an intermediary and gives guided tours, under registration, to facilitate meetings with gallerists and artists. While on the one hand, visitors receive pedagogical information from the tours; on the other, the artworks are priced below €5000 and it is practical that each participating gallery chooses one work in particular ideal for a first purchase. In the information guide published alongside this parcours, fotofever explains the 5 key elements that determine the price of a photographic work as well as the rules and pitfalls to note when making a first acquisition.

In the spirit of inclusion and transparency, fotofever launches, at the same time, the “Les p’tits collectionneurs” parent-child collecting programme. Children aged 7 to 12 and their family can participate in a playful and educational exploration tour to nurture our next generation’s eye for culture and art. The fun-filled and age-appropriate events include discovering the inspirations behind each piece and the universe of the artists, and participating in challenges and contests for a chance to win a reproduction or other amazing gifts.

All in all, an extremely comprehensive accompaniment event to a smooth sailing first venture into the art and photography market.