The hardest part about buying art is figuring out how to get started. Often it seems there's more eye candy to wade through than useful information. That's why many people find art fairs the best way to dive in. These massive art markets bring together dozens of galleries from around the globe, so attendees can get an art-buying crash course in just one afternoon.
The latest edition of the Affordable Art Fair New York brings together work by 500 artists from 70 galleries—all priced under $10,000.
We challenged these experts in affordability to find the lowest-priced options for entry-level buyers. As you cruise through these $500-or-less highlights, check out our tips for getting the best deal on a budget.
TIP: Look for framed pieces.
Just six inches square, Ewan Eason's take on the New York grid features hot gold foil on giclée. Budget bonus? It comes framed, saving the buyer hefty post-sale costs.
TIP: Photos are your friend.
At any level of the market, photos tend to be priced lower than paintings (Compare the most expensive photo ever sold's $4.3 million price tag to the $300 million mark reached by the world's priciest painting). This 16-by-24-inch photographic print by Josh Soskin will keep the summer feeling alive all year long.
TIP: Look for limited-editions and multiples.
It shouldn't be a surprise that editioned pieces cost less than one-offs. Lori Hepner's colorful 17-by-17-inch c-print is one of 50—a kind of middle ground of edition sizes—meaning that you get an authentic art work at a fraction of the price.
TIP: Keep it simple.
Bold pieces like this Kimberly Genevieve photograph, which clocks in at 20 inches by 24 inches, are a great way to make a statement with a single piece.
TIP: Know your edition size and number.
When buying multiples, like this screen print by Andy McKenzie, always be sure to ask about edition size and number. A closed edition means that the artist or gallery can only print a set number of works—and each piece's place within that series can affect its value.
TIP: Look for works on paper.
Buying art on a budget doesn't mean multiples are your only option. Works on paper—like this seven-by-seven-inch oil painting by Kristin Texeira—are usually lower-priced than their canvas counterparts.
TIP: Don't be afraid to ask questions.
A good gallerist will be able to tell you how your piece was made. Bleach Box Photography Gallery, which brought this Richard Heep photo to the Affordable Art Fair, sells limited-edition C-type photographs hand-printed in the darkroom from negatives. The prints are then dry-mounted on aluminum with archival mounts.
Affordable Art Fair New York runs from September 28–October 2, 2016 at the Metropolitan Pavilion.
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