The art industry has always been something of an upper-class fancy; famous artists selling their original artwork exclusively to people who can afford to pay for these supposed masterpieces - the meaning of being able to afford generally starting from the $10,000 region.
These dynamics have adversely limited the art industry over the years – making it next to impossible for more economic classes of people to acquire original, decent pieces of art they like and even more difficult for struggling artists without the financial backing to make it into the inner circles.
The slew of new online art marketplaces, galleries and fairs began in order to bridge this gap within the art society, or rather, to build a more budget-art-community of its own. While a lot of people argue that there is no parallel to experiencing a piece of art in person, these online portals have done surprisingly well selling art online – compensating with their own advantages of being able to browse and purchase sitting at home, easier and infinitely more affordable payment alternatives, more variety in terms of artists and collections and the list goes on.
Talking about lists, we have compiled one of three art galleries cum marketplaces that have done exceedingly well over the years, bringing together artists, collectors and enthusiasts all over the world under their umbrellas.
RISE ART. | "Think of us as your personal art concierge (but without the suit)."
Rise Art is a simple online marketplace that was built to establish an easier way for people interested in contemporary art to access the works that they loved – simply, online, and without the fear of being intimidated, manipulated or ripped off.
The portal lets an individual buy or rent from thousands of work on the website exclusively selected by Rise Art’s host of curators from up and coming artists all over the world. However, what makes Rise Art stand out is that it lets a visitor take their time deciding what kind of art they want to purchase, or if they want to purchase the art they’ve liked at all. It lets enthusiasts rent the art for a few days before actually committing to it, besides also providing expert advice from art insiders regarding recommendations.
ARTFINDER | "Fueled by our community of artists, we believe that buying art should be as enjoyable as living with art. No pretense, no pomp, just great art. Simple."
Another art marketplace that specializes in all kinds of art from all over the world. This organization, however, focuses on promoting artists who want to earn a living doing what they love. With 10,000 artists from over 108 countries selling on Artfinder, the site gets over 15,000 new artworks every month. The site also lets consumers communicate directly with independent artists all over the world to develop their own customized artworks based on theme, taste, and budget.
The Affordable Art Fair Limited | "Whether you know your Hockneys from your Hirsts, or you simply just enjoy basking in the glory of beautiful scenes, we believe everyone can be an art collector, whatever your taste and budget!"
Unlike the other two, this one is an organization that specializes in arranging art fairs, a medium that has grown increasingly popular over the years. Founder and CEO Will Ramsay first opened the doors of Will’s Art Warehouse back in 1996, where he showcased works priced from £50 – £2,500, from a pool of over 150 relatively unknown artists. Prices were clearly displayed on every artwork and people from all walks of society were invited.
Eventually, this was what inspired The Affordable Art Fair Limited.
Since its first fair launched in 1999, they have organized 230 fairs and spanning over 10 different cities, which today include Amsterdam, Milan, Hong Kong, Hamburg, Brussels, Singapore, and Stockholm. Today, these fairs include live artist performances, innovative talks and tours, hands-on workshops, live music and irresistible restaurants and bars – with each fair developing its own distinct personality – but the one thing that has remained constant throughout is the emphasis on accessibility, education, and innovation.
Traditionalists across the globe have deemed the boom of the online art market as being disruptive towards the original gallery and exhibition-centric industry – saying that the expansion has diluted the idea of what good art is. However, the reigning thought process among online sellers and buyers is that, rather than being disruptive, this trend has instead opened up the world of art to an entirely new market segment, that had been left out of the scene for centuries. The change will only serve to build and develop today’s art community even further, without taking anything away from the previous industry.