Collect Contemporary Art on a Budget

Allison Kade
Posted

Our home is our fortress, a castle where we recuperate after a crazy day. We’d love to deck our walls with the fine art befitting such a place, but original Monet and Degas paintings aren’t precisely in our budget.

We’re fans of making our own wall décor (like turning regular photos into paintings on canvas), but we also like to support local artists and find the latest trends to sweep the art world.

So, we’ve compiled our favorite online resources for finding affordable yet collectible artwork, ranging from $20 artsy photographs to $200 paintings by rising stars of the contemporary art world. Technology makes the whole process a cinch, letting you browse, order and pay online. So, next time you go gallery hopping, you can spend your real energy on the champagne.

We’ve ordered them according to how useful we think they are, but they all bring something to the table. Read on for how they differ:

Affordable Wall ArtBest Money Value: 20 x 200

The Scoop: We love the 20 x 200 project for more reasons than just its slogan: “Great art, $20. Really.” The site stands out for everything from still life photos to pithy word art, all of which is easy to browse through color and thematic categories. Whether we want something green to match our living room or pictures of baby monkeys, there are lots of great choices. Good thing that one of the many search categories is “animals.”

The Price Point: Almost every 8” x 10” is available for $20 (prices increase as the prints get larger; 30” x 40” is usually $2,000).

Highest Quality: Artspace

The Scoop: Sure, we’d like to discover the next Andy Warhol at a flea market, but sometimes it’s nice to have someone curate the best of the best for us. Artspace lets us buy art from contemporary artists and rising stars online, curated in one place by a staff with a keen artistic eye. All of the works we saw include certificates of authenticity, and some are even limited editions exclusive to Artspace. The site is partnered with organizations like New York’s Guggenheim and the Brooklyn Museum.

The Price Point: Pieces range from about $100 to $1,000 (though you may occasionally find prints for as low as $50).

Special Deal For LV Readers: Get $25 off your first purchase at Artspace with an exclusive code just for LearnVest readers: LV3629 (case sensitive).

 

Biggest Selection: Etsy

The Scoop: Although Etsy is best known as an arts and crafts site where you can buy everything from sterling silver paperweights to Superwoman-themed stationery, it’s also a huge marketplace for original art, including painting, photography, and even sculpture. The site sometimes makes it difficult to find what you’re looking for, but once you’ve hit the sweet spot, it’s pretty sweet.

The Price Point: Prices vary widely, from small note card-sized prints that cost a few cents to sculptures that cost thousands of dollars, but some of our favorite paintings and photos are about $40 and under. (Though we do have a thing for a sculpture that’s almost $200.)

Most All-Inclusive: RedBubble

The Scoop: RedBubble stands out for photography, though its collections include paintings and drawings, too. We like the ability to buy artwork that’s already framed for us and ready to hang up on the wall.

The Price Point: The prices include the frame—you can choose two different styles, three different backgrounds, and five different wood hues. Most prices for framed art are just under $100, but you can also buy items as prints for under $30.

Best Color Matching: Imagekind

The Scoop: Some of the art on Imagekind is good, and some is really bad. You’ll have to find the diamond in the rough on this site, but its added value is that you can search by very specific colors—not just “blue,” but that exact ultra bold blue that matches your throw pillows. Art is user-submitted, so if you find something you like, there’s a good chance you’re discovering someone for the very first time.

The Price Point: Most of the popular prints are under $20 (and we’ve seen some as low as $11).

Need Some Inspiration?

Click on the pictures below for some of our favorite contemporary art finds:

View Slide Show
  • http://www.smartmouthblog.com Nicole Longstreath

    Right now is a great time for a 21st century art renaissance. We have some tumultuous times happening combined with ever-advancing technology to create some truly memorable art.

    I do like the idea of creating my own art, but I never seem to like what I create as good as I like what someone else may have created. I’m certainly creative and artistic – but not an passionate artist.

    http://www.smartmouthblog.com

  • http://www.smartmouthblog.com Nicole Longstreath

    Right now is a great time for a 21st century art renaissance. We have some tumultuous times happening combined with ever-advancing technology to create some truly memorable art.

    I do like the idea of creating my own art, but I never seem to like what I create as good as I like what someone else may have created. I’m certainly creative and artistic – but not an passionate artist.

    http://www.smartmouthblog.com

  • http://www.smartmouthblog.com Nicole Longstreath

    Right now is a great time for a 21st century art renaissance. We have some tumultuous times happening combined with ever-advancing technology to create some truly memorable art.

    I do like the idea of creating my own art, but I never seem to like what I create as good as I like what someone else may have created. I’m certainly creative and artistic – but not an passionate artist.

    http://www.smartmouthblog.com

  • http://www.smartmouthblog.com Nicole Longstreath

    Right now is a great time for a 21st century art renaissance. We have some tumultuous times happening combined with ever-advancing technology to create some truly memorable art.

    I do like the idea of creating my own art, but I never seem to like what I create as good as I like what someone else may have created. I’m certainly creative and artistic – but not an passionate artist.

    http://www.smartmouthblog.com

  • http://www.smartmouthblog.com Nicole Longstreath

    Right now is a great time for a 21st century art renaissance. We have some tumultuous times happening combined with ever-advancing technology to create some truly memorable art.

    I do like the idea of creating my own art, but I never seem to like what I create as good as I like what someone else may have created. I’m certainly creative and artistic – but not an passionate artist.

    http://www.smartmouthblog.com

  • Anonymous

    slide 7 is such a cool photograph!!!

  • Anonymous

    slide 7 is such a cool photograph!!!

  • Anonymous

    slide 7 is such a cool photograph!!!

  • Cherylt505

    support your local art scene , also check out your local art fair! great art and buys abound!!

  • Cherylt505

    support your local art scene , also check out your local art fair! great art and buys abound!!

  • http://www.electricliftchairstore.com lift chair

    I’m looking for low-cost painting for my place. It is one of my collections and I do hang this on my house walls. Nature is my preferred subject. Actually I do have 20 of it now.

  • http://www.electricliftchairstore.com lift chair

    I’m looking for low-cost painting for my place. It is one of my collections and I do hang this on my house walls. Nature is my preferred subject. Actually I do have 20 of it now.

  • GC

    you can also visit artist studios- some might be willing to work out a deal with you.

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  • olivia

    I love the idea of collecting art on a budget! I’ve purchased art at Eye Buy Art which has showed me that I can get amazing art at a reasonable price. All of the artists featured are accomplished and have given me tons of selection! This is a link to their site: eyebuyart.com

  • Art Enthusiast

    Venerable public art galleries have historically validated artists by acquiring and showing, but never selling limited editions of affordable art they hold in their collection.The Beaverbrook, the Provincial Art Gallery of New Brunswick in Canada which is internationally known for its collection of Canadian, British, and international works of art is the first to do so.A public art museum partnering with http://www.EYEBUYART.com to sell affordable limited editions of art is truly unprecedented and will accelerate the revolution in the purchase of art online.http://eyebuyart.com/content/blog/the-beaverbrook-art-gallery-raise-funds-affordable-art/

  • Lizzie Saito

    Thanks for sharing, Allison. I agree with you recommending Etsy, I am a huge fan of the site. Also, I’d like to add to always start small and start with things you really love when collecting art. I am fascinated with the beauty of birds. I collect paintings from up and coming canvass artists and elegant glass figurines. I buy my collection from local art galleries and from http://www.glasslilies.com/8-glass-birds. Collecting is all about passion. :)