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Art Bodensee: Interview with Andreas Schwarzmann

Art Bodensee is taking place for the seventh time. Andreas Schwarzmann has been the leader of the project from the very beginning and can give us some details about the fair's development and profile.

AFN: Mr Schwarzmann, you are one of the pioneers, and you oversee the Art Bodensee for seven years now. What's so special about Art Bodensee?

Schwarzmann: It is a familial fair; along with our "friends", the gallery owners, we are having an art fair that is supposed to be fun and that corresponds to the regional conditions. It is a fair for a public within the border quadrangle - a fair for artists, gallery owners and collectors who truly enjoy this show.

AFN: Why do they enjoy it?

Schwarzmann: Gallery owners enjoy it because the ambiance is very appealing, that is not only the landscape but also the personalised support service which already began before, a couple of months ago, e.g. with visits at other fairs, Art Cologne, Art Basel or Zurich, and which was continued here at this place. All this is topped off by the culinary and cultural offer of the Vorarlberg. A gallery owner hit the mark by saying that it felt like holidays, like a feel-good fair to him.

Above Andreas Schwarzmann and below with Artur M. Holweg (Artfacts.Net)

AFN: A new hall has been added to the fair this year. Have there been any other innovations?

Schwarzmann: Art Bodensee is taking one more day this year, so all in all, four days. The wish of gallery owners and the interest of visitors were the crucial factor for our decision. We also reacted on the increased meaning of sculptures and built a sculpture park on the open-air ground; this park was very well accepted and is supposed to be expanded in the next years. Yesterday's "Professional Eve" to which especially collectors were invited, enabled the approximately 600 invited guests to have a preview in a serene and agreeable atmosphere. Today, the "Festival of Art" is taking place to encourage "future" collectors to join. The "event" feeling dissipates reserves.

AFN: But it can only be a genuine "feel-good fair" if the participating galleries are actually making profits or at least new important contacts. Is that possible in Dornbirn, in late July, at almost 30 degree?

Schwarzmann: The numbers tell their own tale. More than 80% of the galleries return. The "recidivists" have optimised their programme with every year in accordance to market conditions, i.e. they have presented a mixture of international and local names to the experts. Do not get me wrong: the provocation of art itself remains, but the Art Bodensee is and remains a trade fair.

AFN: What are the prospects of Art Bodensee?

Schwarzmann: The prospects could not be any better because the profile of the fair does not contain a potential of risk. The size is reasonable and adapted to the market. Internationality is a natural result and is not forced artificially. Constancy is an important factor of success. We remain with our goal to offer a stage for four days to 50 satisfied gallery owners and to an art lover public.

AFN: Mr Schwarzmann, thank you very much for the interview.

Interview: Artur M. Holweg

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