6 Six Places to Find Affordable Art
By Maria Popova
The traditional art world may have spent centuries trying to convince us there’s a direct correlation between price and taste, but the web is here to ruffle some feathers and liberalize art ownership. Here are six fantastic sites that offer affordable art from up-and-coming talent, plus some social good along the way.
You know how Wikipedia harnessed the power of the Internet to democratize knowledge? That’s what 20×200 has been doing for art since 2007, with a simple yet powerful formula.
(limited editions × low prices) + the internet = art for everyone
Twice a week, 20×200 introduces two original pieces of artwork — a photograph and a work on paper — available in three sizes, as cheap as $20. Wonderfully user-friendly and meticulously curated, 20×200 is an absolute treat.
We recently snagged this gem by Clifton Burt, inspired by a John Maeda haiku.
THE WORKING PROOF
Suffice it to say this online gallery and print shop is a brilliant marriage of good taste and good conscience.
We’ve featured Tiny Showcase some years ago, and it’s still noteworthy as ever. Similarly to The Working Proof, this smart enterprise offers affortdable artowrk from up-and-coming talent — with most prints priced as low as $20 — and even donates a portion of profits to a charity of each artist’s choice. A recent artwork, for instance, raised $28,155 for Haiti relief.
Each week, Tiny Showcase picks turns a new piece of tiny artwork into a limited-run print production, printed on archival Hahnemühle German Printmaking Paper with specially treated and sprayed ink, giving it an archival lifespan of over 60 years.
WE HEART PRINTS
The site’s semi-democratic model harnesses the best of the crowdsourcing and curation worlds, allowing artists to submit their prints for consideration, but using keen editorial curation to choose the best ones to feature.
EYE BUY ART
A relative newcomer on the affordable art scene, Eye Buy Art offers limited-edition fine art photographs by emerging talent from Canada, the UK and the US, priced as low as $25. (The prints, not the photographers — though how great would it be to buy yourself a photographer for a twenty?)
A jury of professional fine art photographers curate the up-and-comers, releasing one new photograph each week.
We’re longtime fans of society6, the ingenious new platform for empowering artists by connecting them with supporters and matching them with grants. (Check out our exlusive interview with founder Justin Wills.)
Over the past few months, we’ve discovered some incredible talent there, particularly catering to our soft spot for illustration.
Much of the artwork is available for sale, with prints generally priced between $20 and $50 — a jaw-droppingly low range given the uber-talented group of artists in question.
Know of a great site for affordable art? Do share it in the comments and we may include it in the sequel to this piece.
Published February 16, 2010