In recent years, more and more collectors are opting to buy art online.
Collecting art online is brilliant because there are literally millions of artworks at your fingertips. But it’s also challenging because there are literally millions of options at your fingertips.
Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you.Chuck Klosterman
With so many places to buy art online, it’s easy to look for art in all the wrong places. Never fear because Lonely Ocean points you toward our favorite online venues to find art that you love. That is, those inspiring, one-of-a-kind creations that you can bring home at a reasonable price.
Artfinder was created for everyone “who values authentic, handmade works of art, no matter what their taste or budget.”
Eschewing galleries, Artfinder connects you to independent artists from all over the world. Each artwork is original and signed by the artist. Artfinder’s credo is “We believe in ‘made to last,’ in ethical production, in building a business that makes all of our lives better by supporting creativity in communities around the world.”
Artfinder has a wide selection of art under $100. Artfinder is great for collages and hand-made art prints.
Artsy is a comprehensive resource for anyone interested in discovering, researching or collecting art. Artsy.net covers historical, modern, and contemporary works with 1 million works of art from over 100,000 artists worldwide.
The Art Genome Project from Artsy is a sophisticated classification system that lets you follow artwork by a myriad of categories including artistic disciplines, subject matter, styles and movements, time periods, geography, mediums and techniques, visual qualities and much more. Artsy has an app that keeps you up to date on art fairs and auctions, provides art guides for major cities around the globe, and lets you follow specific works, artists, shows, or categories.
Because Artsy includes the most famous artists from the pinnacle of the art world and requires that all artists have gallery representation, you might assume that buying art online through Artsy is out of reach. But don’t overlook Artsy if you are on a budget. Exciting mid-career artists (like Rebecca George of The Art House, whose work is featured here) offer work at a variety of price points.
Based in the UK, Artsper is similar to Artsy, but on a smaller scale. Artsper partners with hand-picked European galleries to build a vast online selection of artwork across a variety of mediums and styles.
Artsper has over 130,000 works of art from over 10,000 artists with prices ranging up to $30,000. On Artsper, you can browse work in categories like famous artists, best-selling artists, and emerging artists.
If you like street or pop art, check out Artsper. Their offerings in these genres are especially deep.
Artsper delivers worldwide and allows 14 days for returns.
Obsessed with the ‘gram? Emergart is a stripped-down, beautifully curated an online gallery that has an Instagram aesthetic. Emergart showcases high-quality painting, works on paper, photography, and sculpture from emerging artists in a sleek, simple format.
While Emergart has clearly high standards for the work included in their online gallery, it takes a hands-off approach to curation and the details of the transaction. So you are on your own when it comes to choosing a piece and dealing directly with the artist on logistics of shipping and returns.
However, Emergart has lower commissions and fees compared to many other sites, which is good for their artists and may mean a better value for the collector.
Emergart has consistently high-quality work that starts at around $500.
If you love abstract art, check out IdeelArt. IdeelArt is based in the UK and actively represents contemporary abstract artists from Europe and North America, working in a wide variety of media.
IdeelArt also provides in-depth information about every artist they represent.
It’s easy to get familiar with the various genres of abstract art, by browsing through this site.
Work ranges in price from $500 to $40,000, with many in the $2,000 to $7,000 range.
Do you believe in the wisdom of crowds? Minted has a unique crowdsourcing approach. Independent artists submit entries to design challenges, and then the Minted community votes to determine which designs to produce.
Minted only offers limited edition prints, which are more affordable than original works. Limited edition prints can be a good way to collect images you love at a lower cost, but be aware that they generally don’t have the potential hold value or appreciate the way that an original work might.
With Minted, you can choose different sizes, colorways and framing options for each of the designs, and the cost of the piece varies accordingly, but even the largest, most lavishly framed prints are likely to come in at well under $1000.
Risk-averse? Hate to commit? Hesitant to buy art online? Rise Art might be the platform for you.
This UK-based gallery Rise Art lets you “rent and rotate” original art while you earn purchase credits toward that special piece you can’t live without.
Rise Art has a fun quiz to help you discover your favorite art style. The results give Rise’s free art advisors a leg up on helping you find the work you love.
Rise Art has artwork at every price point, everything from little jewels under $200 like the painting by Philip Tyler that is shown here to “the sky is the limit,” but the bulk of their selection seems to be priced under $5000.
Do you believe in openness and inclusion? Of course you do! That is the beauty of Saatchi Art. Saatchi is a digital platform (website + mobile app) where any artist can offer works for sale, including painting, photography, drawing, sculpture, art prints, and limited edition prints.
If you are interested in independent artists and have a budget of $2000 or less, you will find great choices on Saatchi.
Saatchi Art is an easy, convenient and welcoming way to buy art online. But it’s really the work of talented curators–their collections and content–that makes Saatchi shine. But if you need some help, Saatchi also offers free art advisory services.
If you want to buy emerging contemporary art, Singulart might be perfect for you, especially if you have never been keen on doing your homework.
Singulart is unique in that every artist has been extensively vetted before being invited to join. Each Singulart artist has a detailed profile and their impressive credentials are posted on the site. Because of this, Singulart is a wonderful resource for streamlining the process of discovery and research.
Lonely Ocean has featured artist Fred Smilde on Singulart.
Like many sites, Tappan has beautifully curated collections. What makes Tappan Art unique is its focus on fostering emerging talent. Tappan supports emerging artists by providing artist residencies and coordinating international exchange programs, giving them amazing opportunities to explore and develop their practice.
Detailed accounts of these residencies, as well as artist interviews at studio visits, mean that you can get to a strong sense of Tappan’s emerging artists on a more informal and personal basis than is typical in a more traditional artist profile.
Tappan also supports emerging artists by connecting them with new and seasoned collectors. You can peruse interesting collector profiles on Tappan’s site that might inspire your own collection!
Tappan offers some photographs, and limited edition prints for under $300, but the majority of the original artwork is in the $1000 to $5000 range.
Want the best of the traditional gallery experience, without all the pretense and hassle? Then Uprise Art was made for you.
Uprise Art is an online gallery based in New York City by female entrepreneur, Tze Chun. Chun says “what we try to do is take the best parts of the art world and just throw away the rest.”
In 2011, Chun realized that “there was a gap between working, creative artists who were looking to find an audience for their work and …young professionals living in New York [who] didn’t have access to original art.”
Designed for the next generation of art collectors, Uprise has a distinct curatorial point of view. The work leans toward the edgy and the cool, with a deep collection of works with a minimalist aesthetic.
Chun says the most popular offering on Uprise is the selection of original art under $800. For more expensive pieces, Uprise curators will help facilitate purchases that typically run in the $1500 to $2000 range.
If you want to elevate your home or office with amazing, original artwork, Zatista is worth checking out.
Zatista’s platform makes it easy to find original artwork that will fit your space, taste, and budget. Their search function lets you specify up to 9 parameters including style, size, format, color, price and many more.
Zatista emphasizes service and satisfaction and provides a certificate of authenticity with each purchase.
As a final note, we urge every collector to research and ask questions to understand and assess the value of work before they buy art online — including process, materials, documentation and the reputation of the artists — as well as details about terms like secure payment, shipping, and returns.
Note: This blog contains affiliate links, which means that if you click through and purchase something, Lonely Ocean receives a small commission, which goes toward continuing to bring you cool art each week. This does not affect the price you pay, and we only recommend what we love. Thanks for supporting Lonely Ocean!