Tips for Finding Good, Affordable Art

A rose-colored picture frame, empty, surrounded by a white background.

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Buying art can be a stressful venture: it’s expensive, some of it is very rare, and finding things that cater to your personal taste and style can prove more difficult than you’d think. But finding good art doesn’t have to be so difficult, and you don’t need millions of dollars to surrender at a Christie’s auction. Having a few tips on hand can make a difference.

The important thing to understand before you buy art is what you actually like. It seems easy, but you might be surprised. The more you know about art and your own style, the easier the hunt will be. The best way to discover what interests you is by visiting galleries and museums. Many of them are free, and you can learn a lot there.

It’s best to start small. Certainly you are welcome to splurge, but if you’re new to buying art, it’s better to stay safe. Bob and Cortney Novogratz, art collectors and New York-based designers, encourage new art buyers to consider starting with some photography or a limited-edition print, as they’re easier to come by and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Or, if you’re on a budget and you have children, enlarge their pieces of art and frame them.

Support local artists! Check out local galleries and college shows to find some newcomers, eager artists who want to get their work out into the world. You never know when you’ll find something really amazing, and by someone who could grow up to be a real contender.

Most importantly, do your research. You’re the one who’s going to live with this art in your life, with conversations about its origin, so it’s necessary that you buy something you’re going to love and enjoy. Talk to other collectors, artists, gallery owners. There’s a lot of art in the world and not all of it will appeal to you.

Be sure to save receipts, emails. Invoices, or any other content that’s created during the transaction. Enjoy your new art!

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