Art for 99-percenters
How to Afford Art?
The intimidating world of Fine Art.
Art historically has been classified as a "luxury item".
We think of Victorian kings and queens, super expensive Sotheby's auctions, or world masters displayed in the best museums in the world.
In this article, we will try to share a few secrets and tips to make more art more affordable.
Art is for Everyone!
("not just for one percenters")
From Local or Famous artists
Perhaps the least expensive way to decorate your house with art is with art prints. An art print is essentially a copy of the original work.
You can get a copy of a famous painting, in which case the artist (who is probably deceased) doesn't get paid much if anything.
Or you can get a print from a living artist, and proceeds from the sale pay the artist's salary (as it should!).
An art print on quality archival paper should cost several hundred dollars, depending on the size and the artist's popularity.
For example, a 24''x32'' paper print costs ~$100 to manufacture, plus $100 for a frame, and $400-$800 for the artist's cost. Thus, the price of $600-$1000 for an emerging artist is very reasonable.
Aluminum prints are of higher quality, don't require a frame, and arguably look better. These are preferred by Art House SF.
Limited Edition Prints
Next, a limited edition print is a more expensive version of an art print.
As the name implies, the number of these prints is limited, and the artist ensures that no more will be printed.
Some artists decide to make only 100 copies of the original, others 25, etc. Of course, the price for each depends on the total number of copies. Sometimes, it can depend on the number of copies remaining (e.g., 1st of 25 will cost less than 24 of 25).
For example, let's say you like Vladimir Kush (a super famous surrealist artist) who has almost 5 million Google hits(!), 13,000 followers on Instagram, and 90,000 on Facebook. His originals sell for $60,000 - $100,000, and almost all of them have been sold already.
Yet, his limited edition prints are quite popular, sell for $1,000 - $3,000, and, they sell well on the secondary market. Meaning, there's a good demand for them as well.
Limited Edition Print
Certificate of Authenticity
Note that a limited edition print usually comes with a "Certificate of Authenticity."
This certificate lists your copy number (1 in this example)
Some artists also write down the copy number on the back of their artwork.
Price per Square Inch
Original art prices vary greatly. How do you know you are not overpaying?
One way to price paintings is using the "price per square inch" method (not the best measure but acceptable for simplicity's sake)
We recently surveyed 107 emerging American and international artists to determine what's reasonable.
On average, their prices were $1.8/square inch for paintings 30+ inch on a side. $2.8/square inch for 20-30 inches on a side, $2.85 for 10-20 inch paintings
So for example using this formula, the asking price for a 18''x24'' work would be (18*24)*$2.8 = $1,200, or for 36''x48'', (36*48)*1.8=$3,110.
Does it mean that expensive works don't sell? Absolutely not.
Is there a lot of great art outside this range that is worth every penny? Yes, of course, especially if the artist has a history of sales, gallery representation, sells out at every show, etc.
These are just general guidelines to help you navigate the Wild West of Art Prices.
Buy Now, Pay Later
It is very common in the US to finance large-ticket items (cars, furniture, appliances, etc), especially if they cost more than $1,000 (our monthly discretionary income).
Remember when iPhones used to cost several hundred dollars? Even Apple is now offering monthly plans.
A lot of original art is priced higher than $1000. Thus, they're perfect candidates for financing as well. And while the art market has been behind in financing, it is finally catching up.
Art House SF, in partnership with ArtMoney, offers all of our >$1k items in 10 monthly payments (and we pay the interest!)
In addition to financing, another frequently used financial "affordability" vehicle is leasing or renting.
Art galleries are slowly catching up to renting art. One of the main reasons is that they often don't own art and consign it instead. Plus, shipping, handling, and insurance complicate things.
Yet, this trend is catching on. And in the case of galleries owning art (as Art House SF) does, art renting is much easier. Often, the entire rental amount you paid is applied to the principal if you choose to buy the work of art later.
So reach out to us if you'd like to rent art.
Remodeling and Art
Art in Interior Design
The national average for kitchen remodeling is $16,600 or $150 per sq. ft. So how much should one spend on the artwork?
Architectural Digest magazine recommends setting aside 10-15% of the overall budget on art.
And if we do the math, for $2000 (10% of $20k), a lot of great original art or prints can be purchased.
Review our other guides:
What is a Giclee print? | How to Hang a Painting | How to Afford Art | Art Installment Plans | Preserving Artwork | Art Framing Guide