MEANINGFUL ART THAT WON'T BREAK THE BANK
A considered space is thought through from big picture to the smallest details. The spirit of one’s space is crystallized through the layer of art and objects that inhabit it. These visual cues are often the most memorable thing about a space, and perhaps the thing that gives us the greatest sense of meaning, but in finishing a project they can be rushed and given the least consideration of all design choices in the interest of getting a space to a point of feeling “lived-in”.
For those like me who are just starting to learn about creating their art collection or who might not have the means to invest in a gallery represented oil painting, there are so many resources out there that help make original art available and affordable.
If you are someone who is determined to see your piece in person before purchasing, there are so many amazing unrepresented or emerging artists in New York City that can be found at events throughout the year. March held the annual NYC Affordable Art Fair, an event where experts handpick the best galleries worldwide to help you buy beautiful, "affordable" art. While less expensive than the typical Manhattan gallery, prices do range up to $10,000 which may not fall into most budgets. A good way to circumvent these exorbitant prices is to seek out artists that are independent or unrepresented in the gallery world. One of the most direct ways to find and support emerging artists in New York is through Open Studios events that take place throughout the city at various times of year. They are held annually in Greenpoint, Bushwick, Gowanus, Lower East Side, Long Island City, and Astoria, to name a few. While the work can vary from conceptual to performance based, there are fine artists to be discovered. These events give you a chance to meet the artists and see where they work. The events are held in a variety of environments as formal as an artist studio and as intimate as someone’s home.
Photos: Annika von Holdt via Sköna Hem
If you would like to do a more targeted search for artful pieces for your home there are so many resources online to find great art. Many will have heard of Society6 a platform that turns digital artwork from independent artists into art prints on paper, canvas or metal surfaces that can come framed or unframed. The pieces are curated with a sense of humor, and perusing the site you are bound to crack a smile. Another well known website selling work by independent artists is Minted. They boast fine art prints, using high quality paper and printing techniques with limited print runs (though not actually one of a kind as the website would suggest). With this kind of scale it’s unlikely that you would end up with the same print as your friend, but not impossible. Minted also offers a commissioned art service that will connect you to an artist to create a completely custom piece. If you want to buy digital prints that support a cause, Wunderkid is a site dedicated to empowering young artists to pursue their dreams. They do this by facilitating tuition and mentorship programs.
If digital art isn’t your thing there are some lesser known sources that have more diverse offerings. Exhibition A, a platform created by Cynthia Rowley and Gallerist Bill Powers, has the mission to “broaden the world of art collecting to new and experienced collectors by providing the opportunity to own signed work by popular and well-known artists at a fraction of gallery prices”. Their pieces, which offer a large variety in scale, medium and price, are sourced globally and tend towards the contemporary. For contemporary works in a slightly higher price point, Artspace is an online platform dedicated to making collecting art easy and accessible. For those looking at their pieces as more than just a consumer product, but rather as something that they might frame as an investment this would be the go to platform for collectible art. If contemporary art is not to your taste, and you are searching for a maximum diversity in style Saatchi Art offers more stylistically traditional and modern art, but created by emerging artists working today rather than offering pieces of the historical period referenced. Personally I can’t speak to the collectibility of art in our changing times.
If you’re looking for your art to create meaning twice over, LA-Based, Woman lead Tappan Collective has a particularly interesting philosophy of supporting emerging artists who might otherwise have little or no support post-graduation. They offer services including a residency program, an artist management team to support with advice and guidance for artists to expand their practice and grow their career, partnerships with influential brands and exhibitions. Their aesthetic is curated around a select number of artists, and use their e-commerce platform to communicate the stories behind the artists and their artwork. They make it easy to learn about the artists and the projects they are working on.
Gabrielle Teschner an artist represented by Tappan collective
We all want to live with art and with so many artists looking for ways to sell their work, there’s no reason with all these incredible platforms available not to choose to live with one or two unique works in your home. Purchasing a piece consciously can do so much good to foster young or emerging talent, and ensure that those who dedicate themselves to the act of expression have a market for their work.
While supporting artists can be a satisfying and successful way to bring beauty to your space, not everything needs to be original work by professional artists. I know in my own home this is not the case. We do have one or two original fine art pieces, the majority of our home has prints, photographs and even a framed large format postcard here and there. Living in an artful home doesn't mean a gallery wall of gilded oil paintings, but rather a collection of Items that have meaning to you. To that end - if you’re looking for a way to let loose your own creativity without taking up a new conte drawing technique, sometimes the easiest way to make meaning is through the use of your own photos. In my own space my husband and I used Framebridge for our travel photos of a particularly special day on a trip to Ireland we did a couple years ago. They will print and frame your content, making it easy to get your own photography printed and framed. While I have been so happy with that process and result, I’ve since discovered Pictureframes.com a similar online business that offers a zero waste policy.
When you don’t have the capacity to put in the time to give that layer the extra consideration that this layer of your home needs, working with a designer can help to cull the options down, or present you to things you might not have thought of before. If this is something you need help and support with in your home, don’t hesitate to reach out for art styling services.