There comes a time in life when you start to give a fuck about what you put on your walls. In your student years, a partially ripped
Pulp Fiction or American Beauty poster (cringe) did the job but now most of us are looking for something a little cooler than a photo on canvas of a sunset.
Unfortunately, this desire is not supported by an income that allows us to casually wander into Victoria Miro gallery and pick up a Grayson Perry, so we've searched high and low for the best places to buy affordable art.
Where do you go to find something genuine, meaningful and aesthetically pleasing that you could potentially love forever? Click through to discover some good places to start.
Launching this week in light of World Oceans Day on June 8th, Tide Studio is a new outlet featuring the works of selected artists, photographers and illustrators from all around the world. It's affordable with prices from £70, and a portion of the proceeds go to support
Surfers Against Sewage
, a charity dedicated to cleaning and protecting our waters. The theme of water runs through all of the work on sale, the perfect way to bring a bit of summer onto your walls.
is an online hub of artists who can submit their work and start up their own web shop, without handling any production themselves. The pieces are produced and delivered straight from Society6, great for if your budget is stretched and you're not precious about numbered editions.
We love the collage work by
(pictured), prices range from £16 - £48 depending on size.
We've got a long list of illustrators selling their fares in our bookmarks, but R29 regular
stands out. Her boldly drawn pieces are easily digested as wall-hanging art, and with print prices around £30-40 they sell fast. Commissions are also available.
Other illustrators to look out for include
London has some of the most reputable art schools in the world, so end of year shows are great places to discover what you do and don’t like, and hopefully snap up a bargain in the process. Granted, you’ll have to politely look at a few giant vagina sculptures (there’s always one), but you may end up investing in a future star, too. Most are open to the public and are less intimidating than the white-walled, elitist environments of commercial galleries. Plus you’ll get the chance to meet the artist you’re thinking of buying from. Try the
Chelsea College of Art
Independent Ceramics Market
Hosted by the
Hackney Flea Market
, this showcase of work by local ceramists is a really nice way to jump on the ceramics trend. Whether you're after plant pots or a set of coffee cups it's all too easy to come away from here laden with pots and a lighter wallet.
Affordable Art Fair
The clue’s in the title at the
Affordable Art Fair
. With three locations in the UK and venues at other art-centric cities across the globe (such as Brussels, Milan, New York and Amsterdam), it proves that there’s a healthy demand for art that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. The fair’s founder, Will Ramsay, believes that anyone can buy art – ‘the trick is to buy what you like, not what you think you should be buying’ he says. Pick up bold and brilliant works around the £100 mark at the the next fair in London, which takes place in Battersea between 18th-22nd of October.
Specialising in street and graphic art, Columbia Road’s
gallery is one of the most down-to-earth places to buy art in London. With a roster of international artists on its books including Pure Evil and Camille Walala (pictured), there’s everything from the abstract, to the darkly sinister and the humorous. The prices are seriously reasonable too, so you’ll even have enough change for a proper grown-up frame and everything.
Leading online art retailer
has some big names on its books; Peter Blake, Damien Hirst, and Helmut Newton to name but a few. But don’t let that put you off a browse – there’s plenty under the £500 mark, and the real USP is that it has an instalment payment plan, so you can bag a great work and pay it off in manageable chunks every month. We love Noma Bar’s boldly coloured, graphic compositions and Alexander Brattell’s ethereal monochrome photographs (pictured) – yours for just £395 – that’s way less than your last sample sale binge.
Situated between bathroom bins and lightbulbs, the wall art section used to be the zone of
you’d dash through without so much as a second glance. Generic and bland, the offerings on display generally consisted of photos of pebbles on the beach or the Manhattan skyline. But now, in true Ikea style, we’re happy to report the Swedish giant has democratised art buying for the masses and has upped its game with the new
Art Event series
, a limited edition of posters which are back for 2017 with a focus on drawing. Created by some of our favourite names including
– and they're only a tenner.
Print Club London
A breeding ground for emerging talent,
Print Club London
gives their members access to screen printing equipment and studio space, then gives them a platform to sell the work they produce there too, so no wonder its output feels refreshingly different to conventional galleries. For the price of a mass produced pair of trainers, you could be walking away with a limited edition print from exciting artist such as Thomas Harold Whitcombe (pictured) instead – surely a much better way to express yourself, no?
Image: Barbs by Rebecca Harper/Courtesy of AucArt.
For the chance to invest in a unique piece by an up-and-coming contemporary artist, head to
. The new online auction house allows collectors to purchase artworks directly from the studios of recent art school graduates, with a "buy now" option and no buyer's premium. The site's twenty-something founder and CEO, Natasha Arselan, was driven by the desire to represent and launch the careers of young UK artists who have just graduated from art college. Artwork ranges from a few hundred pounds to the multiple thousands, but with the featured artists receiving a 70% commission on pieces purchased through the platform, you're doing your bit to support the next generation of artists.