The Insider: Buy art without breaking the bank

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Buying art can give a person the jitters. Especially when the price tops a few hundred – and the idea of "investment" threatens to hamper things. So how can you avoid throwing cash down the drain – and is that painting really any good?

From the heart

"It is hard to strike gold without attuned antennae," says the architectural designer/art collector Ben Pentreath. "So I buy things I love, and find their value takes care of itself."

Money, money, money

Ownart.org.uk provides interest-free loans to buy contemporary art.

Home is where the art is

How to pick the right art for your décor? Look for a hint of a room's dominant colours in a painting. But, contrast works: light-filled images brighten dark rooms, warm hues soften a starker interior and balance modern with old for panache.

Deal or no deal

"Build a relationship with a reputable dealer," says Pentreath. "I use abbottandholder.co.uk. And with serious artists, engravings, lithographs and drawings are a fraction of the price of oils and watercolours."

Print it

For prints, try elphicks.big cartel.com (nice birds – "Caribbean Cruisers" by Charley Harper); keepcalmgallery.com (top typography); alboart.co.uk (from £25); surfaceview. co.uk (non-naff reproductions).

Museum piece

Gallery shops are great – but particularly rich is saatchistore.com.

In the beginning

The art-school degree shows kick off around now: check out degreeart.com/degree-shows-2011. Near London? Try also free-range.org.uk (starts 31 May) and artistic hub Vyner Street, E2, first Thursdays of the month.

Blag it

For a bluffers' guide: affordable artfair.com/portal/buying

Find Kate's blog on affordable interiors at yourhomeislovely.com

Comments