By Dappered Arts and Culture Correspondent Ben Madeska. For more from Ben, see this archive. For more on literature, art, food, wine, and a real perspective on the news these things seem to make, follow Ben on Twitter.
At a certain point in your life, you look around your living room or home office and start to think that maybe, just maybe, that poster of John Belushi drinking a bottle of Jack isn’t really you anymore. It’s time to put some art up on the walls.
The prospect of beginning to buy art can be intimidating, but that largely comes from the idea that all art, at least all good art, is too expensive. In reality, unless you’re looking to snap up some Picassos, there is some fine art to be had for less than the price of a new pair of shoes. And in this economy, buying art is basically charity.
The first thing to do is figure out what kind of art you like. Go to museums, galleries, and other exhibit openings. Chances are, no matter where you live, there’s an art scene and they’re happy to welcome new supporters. The only rule is buy what you like, within your budget. Don’t worry about anyone that tells you different.
The internet is also a great resource for buying art, but as with any online purchase it can be hard to judge quality. You’ll want to stick with places you can trust, and 20×200 is a great site to start with. They offer a large selection of photographs and works on paper from as low as $20. Some suggestions of artists to begin with:
- Sarah McKenzie paints buildings under construction, creating a formal and metaphorical connection between the construction and the painting itself. (“Lift” Top Left – starting at $50)
- Austin Kleon creates “Newspaper Blackout Poems” – poetry made by redacting newspaper articles. (“The Figure Skater” Top Center – starting at $20)
- Bryan Schutmaat’s photographs explore the American landscape. (“Arrow” Top Right – starting at $20)
- Jason Polan is attempting to draw every single person in New York. (“Man Sleeping” middle right – $50)