Where To Buy Top-Notch Art Without Breaking The Bank
You’re ready to decorate your home with a few items beyond Ikea and Pottery Barn. But where do you start?
You may have strolled into a few art galleries — but marched right out again when you saw prices topping $5,000. Still, art doesn’t have to be complicated or superexpensive. Not sure what to buy or where to find art for your home? We spoke with artists and interior designers to learn how to find relatively inexpensive art, and how to choose something that you’ll love.
Try Saatchi Art
Saatchiart.com was recommended again and again by the artists we interviewed. In fact, it was quite possibly recommended by every single artist we interviewed. “Saatchi is a well-known, reputable art marketplace,” explains Davonte “Davo” Bradley, a digital artist based in Richmond, Virginia. It has an intuitive search function, and it even has a “visual search” feature where you have the option of choosing artwork you like — and you’ll be shown similar work within the price range you specify. “Arguably, Saatchi is one of the best marketplaces out there from that feature alone,” Bradley says.
They have everything from paintings to photography to sculpture. Prices range from less than $100 to in the thousands. You can feel confident buying from Saatchi Art because they have a grace period to let buyers assess artwork before the transaction is completed, says Kevin Caron, a sculptor in Phoenix who has sold dozens of sculptures through the website.
If you want prints or multiple works at once
Look at Society6, says Stephanie Menjivar, an art business mentor in Miami. Menjivar says Society6 is a nice platform for illustrations, collages and all kinds of quirky art styles. Their prints come in multiple sizes and material options, and they typically cost less than $200. “Due to their affordable prices, this website is great for purchasing art for gallery walls,” Menjivar says.
If you’re looking for photography
Try House of Spoils, which is great for art photography prints with wanderlust themes, Menjivar says. House of Spoils is a boutique website offering unique photography prints organized by subject matter. They also have framing options and a variety of sizes. “I appreciate that they carefully curate the photographers they work with,” Menjivar says.
The best for fiber art
Etsy is a vast marketplace for all kinds of specialty art and handmade goods, but Menjivar says she specifically loves how many fiber artists have made Etsy their hub. “If you’re looking for work that has texture, movement, unique materials and a boho flair, searching for ‘fiber art wall hanging’ on Etsy is the way to go,” she says. You can find anything from hand-dyed wall hangings to macramé to tapestries. Every shop on Etsy allows you to have direct contact with the artists, so you can often customize the piece.
Do you love it?
The biggest question you should ask yourself is whether you love the art, Caron says. And can you live with it? “Art should only be bought as an investment by experts,” he says.
If you’re overwhelmed
Go with your gut, Bradley says. “A lot of art collecting is intuitive at the start,” he says. “Why do we collect posters of shows or movies that we like? Because we like the way the poster looks, and it also reflects our love of that show or movie.” Erin Remington, an assistant curator and art adviser for Saatchi Art, suggests that you could also ask yourself a few questions: How does this art make me feel? What is it that draws me to the piece? Is there a particular space I have in mind for this work?
Tom Byrne, a professional artist, says if you can’t decide what to purchase, you may want to make a list of the type of art that intrigues you the most. Once you’ve identified what gives you the most pleasure — whether that’s visceral pleasure or intellectual stimulation or a combination of both — look for other people who share your passion, Byrne says.
Make some practical considerations
Is this an original or is it a print (an original may cost more)? Will you be responsible for the cost of the frame? asks Annika Connor, an artist based in Brooklyn. She suggests that if you find an artist you like, follow that artist on social media. “Something over time will jump out to you,” she says.