Art is the spice of life. You can take two rooms that look completely the same and only add in different artwork, and the vibe is totally different. It’s such a great opportunity to express yourself and show some personality in your design. And I’m a firm believer that your art collection is one of the most valuable collections you can build. If you do it right – and don’t just grab all your art from mass-produced places – it’s something that can actually be a great investment. Both a financial investment and an emotional one that you can pass down to your family and friends. So today, we’re talking the best places to find original art to splurge on.
Buying art may seem a lot easier than it actually is. It’s not as simple as doing a quick Google and pressing “place order.” I mean, it could be, but truly curating your own collection takes a lot more intention and patience.
And one of the first steps in the process is knowing where to actually find art or artists that you really connect with. We’re going to get into some great online stores to source art from, but first, some bonus in-person tips.
Best tips on finding art to splurge on in-person
While I love to shop online for art, I am in love with the experience of walking through aisles of art that’s actually, physically in front of me. Here are some rapid-fire suggestions for where I love to find art:
- Art fairs and conventions. This may seem obvious, but if you don’t actively seek them out, you may not find them. Back in Atlanta, there was an event collective called “Atlanta Art Events” that threw fun, themed parties every couple of months. And there are vendors there standing right next to their art. You can’t really beat being able to get into the mind of an artist you’re considering buying from.
- Flea markets. Finding a really great and valuable piece of art here may not be as common, but it’s so worth the hunt. Whether you have a huuuge flea market like the Rose Bowl Flea Market here in Los Angeles or a little one in a smaller town, definitely check it out if you’re on the hunt. You never know if someone is clearing out their collection. And even if it’s not by a “famous” artist, it can still be a valuable addition to your collection.
- Estate sales and thrift stores. Much like with flea markets, you’re gonna have to hunt a little bit. But I’ve discovered some of my favorite pieces at thrift stores. And with estate sales, you may get lucky and find someone’s entire collection up for grabs.
- Social media. Not a physical place to search, but I had to mention this here. If you’re into art, make sure you’re following artists on social media. Check out your explore page, the list of who your favorite artists are following, artists tagged in gallery posts, etc. This is an incredible way to learn more about the person behind the art and keep an eye our for the perfect piece to fill a hole in your collection.
Now let’s get into it: where to find original art to splurge on online
Started in 2017, Singulart now has over 12,000 artists and designers on the platform. This gives you a ton of pieces and artists to choose from, no matter what genre of art you’re into.
One of the great things about this marketplace is the diversity. On the platform, you’ll find artists from over 110 different countries. And 49% of the artists are female (compared to only 11% in most museums!!)
There are all different kinds of mediums on here, from sculpture to prints to photography to paintings, and more.
Each artist has their own artist profile that you can view to learn more about them, see all the work they have available, and even follow to be notified of new work.
While you can definitely find affordable artwork on here, you can also find some really great pieces to splurge on. To give you an idea for their range, you can price filter from anywhere between $0 and $20,000.
Artfinder is similar to Singulart where artists can sign up to be on the platform and sell their art. There are over 7,000 artists from 108 different countries on the website. And over 15,000 new pieces are added every single month. That means you’re always gonna have a really fresh supply to choose from.
If you’re looking for a deal, they do have a wide selection of art under $100. However, they are mostly prints. But if you’re looking to find original art to splurge on that’s physical, there are lots of options in the mid-high price range.
They sell all mediums of art, including sculptures, paintings, prints, collages, photography and more.
Tappan Collective is an incredible place to source some contemporary art. It has a very high class experience to the website.
They have a wide variety of art to choose from. And one great thing is that they often have limited-time and exclusive pieces that can be extremely valuable if you’re trying to build a rare collection.
Not only can you view all the different artists available on the platform, but you can also view Collectors’ profiles. Learn a little bit about what the collectors all about and see their handpicked list of curated pieces.
Another great tool on their website is their quiz to help you figure out your art style. This can be really helpful if you’re just starting your journey with art, or if you are just curious what you’d get!
Coming from the world of interior design, furniture is the first thing that I think of when I see 1stdibs. But (perhaps unsurprisingly) they have an amazing collection of art as well.
And this is the place you want to go if you’re looking to score some classic art rather than grab something from a current independent artist.
1stdibs has art from a massive time range, from the 1800’s and earlier all the way up to contemporary pieces. And you can filter for the period you want. Or you can filter based on color, medium price, artist, etc.
You’ll be pretty hard-pressed to find something for a steal here. I mean, there’s a reason their smallest price range filter is “under $1000” and not “under $100.” However, many of these pieces are by artists with high notoriety, meaning that your splurge will be an investment.
If you’re a boujee on a budget kinda person who wants designer stuff but not at a designer price tag, you’re probably familiar with the Real Real for things like bags, shoes, clothing, etc. But did you know it’s also a great place to find original art to splurge on?
This is the destination if you’re looking for some designer pieces by well-known artists.
The prices range pretty widely, from under $500 to over $40,000. So it has options for every budget, and you can find a really iconic piece of art.
Where you spend your money makes a big difference. And if you’re splurging to pay for some art investment pieces, you may consider how you can make that money go towards a good cause as well.
That’s exactly why Art for Change was created. Their tagline is “fine art for the socially conscious collector.” They focus on building longterm relationships with contemporary artists, so they have a deep understanding of each artist and prioritize fair compensation. Their artists receive 50% of all total sales, a rarity in the fine art world. In addition, a portion of each sale is directed to relevant non-profits.
While the pieces available on their site are not “cheap” by any means, they attempt to make fine art more accessible to everyone by putting a fair price tag on each piece.
This is a huge destination for sourcing original art online. Saatchi Art has over 3 million pieces currently available on their website, and that number only grows. Hundreds of thousands of artists of artists spanning over 100 countries are listed on Saatchi Art.
Their advanced search filters are touted as one of the best in the online art gallery world. You can filter by style, medium, subject, material, orientation, and more.
If you would prefer a more curated search experience, they also have collections and sections on trending and rising artists. So this could be a great point to start if you want to piggy back off of someone else’s expertise as you’re just starting to dip your toe into the art collector’s world.
Artsy is one of the most end-to-end online art-buying experiences. You can discover, purchase and sell art on the platform.
It’s more of a marketplace than a collection of shoppable artist profiles like some of the sites on this list. But it’s much more than a marketplace, too.
There are online gallery shows, viewing rooms, auctions and more.
And if you’re looking to get into purchasing some digital art in the form of NFTs, Artsy has you covered there, too.