The Best Places To Discover & Buy Art Online
Here is a journey to our selection of the best online Art Marketplaces and what we loved about them most.
Stating once again how the internet has changed our everyday life will come as a cliché and it is indeed. We are now many years past the invention of the World Wide Web and we barely remember how the world was before that. Several changes have taken place in various fields, and closing our eyes before this technological development and digital revolution may be decisive.
As the saying goes, a rolling stone gathers no moss, and a part of the art world has decided to stay clean and ride this tech wave. In other words, some artists have chosen to adjust to our digital era and start producing, distributing and promoting their artwork online.
If we put some thought into it, we do not have to perceive these changes as the beginning of the end. As Brice Lecompte, co-founder of Singulart, states “digital technology is a remarkable tool for the promotion of equal opportunities”. Digitalisation of art may result in its democratisation, meaning that, for the first time in history, every single person will have access to affordable (or not) art of any taste. In the case of the digital art marketplace, there are no brick-and-mortar galleries, and anyone can take a look at the pieces without taking a step outside of their living room.
And there is more. This is a two-way street, as all artists are given access to portals that exhibit their work and give them the opportunity to share it with the world, wherever they may be. You can now buy a painting from Argentina while being in Germany or commission an artist from Kenya while you are in Sweden. How liberating does that sound?
After taking an online tour, we bring to you a few examples of digital art places that have caught our attention, either with their style or with their small details that make them stand out from the crowd.
“We are a platform for collecting and discovering art”
The first among our choices is the most known art marketplace. More than 1,000,000 works of art and 100,000 artists within a great digital environment. Its menu includes separate sections for artworks, auctions, galleries, fairs, an editorial and more. Artsy looks like a new Medium for art, as apart from its similar appearance, galleries and artists have their own profile, which you can follow and sort by location, specialty and name.
PS: We love their minimal logo.
“Shop original art from independent artists around the world”
In this marketplace, you may find several pieces that are sold online, but there is more to it. Artfinder is not as much a marketplace as a digital pool of people, offering their artistic services online. By visiting each artist’s profile, you take a look at his or her previous works and discover who you want to commission for your art piece. This website offers services similar to freelancing platforms like Upwork, only its specialisation revolves around art. Browsing through someone’s work will give you an idea of their style, helping you decide which artist will be capable of completing what you have in mind.
PS: Who cannot admire their international character, as they declare that their mission is to connect you with artists from all around the world.
“It’s art for everyone”
Founded in 2007, 20×200 is one of the oldest marketplaces, old enough to have registered their Art for Everyone trademark. When you choose to check an art piece, you get to read the Artist’s statement, that is you “hear” the artist’s thoughts about their piece, its materials and perhaps symbolism. What’s more, you can read the thoughts of a 20×200’s team member, and it feels like you read the words of a curator. Being a quite old marketplace does not prevent them from developing, and that is highlighted by the fact that they have included the production of podcasts in their activities.
PS: It seems that when 20×200’s team members are in good spirits, they sign their blog posts using phrases such as “With art for everyone” or “Yours in smoke and sauce”.
04. Saatchi Art
“World’s leading online art gallery, connecting people with art and artists they love”
If you appreciate variety, then Saatchi is the right site for you. Anything that comes to mind can be found in this marketplace, and they had been very careful with their categorization. You may browse art by price, or you may browse art curated by Saatchi’s curators. You do not only get to see how many times it was favorited, but you can see how many times it was viewed by visitors. Interestingly, they reassure their clients that their bought items will be shipped in wooden crates, if they are large and need to be protected. One of the new features is the gift card which is received via email. Also, there is a section dedicated to new projects and captured backstage moments.
PS:. You may also take a look at already sold pieces, discovering sales trends.
“Art is made to be seen, and shared”
When it comes to digital art places, Singulart has one of the most modern and edgy websites. Its menu is quite clear and has separate sections for new but also for popular artists. If you are interested in an artwork, but you believe that it may be overpriced you can make an offer (the artist has added the limited amount of money that they accept). It was amazingly easy for us to navigate and explore the different parts, as it is a website with plenty of white spaces and small icons, explaining every single step from how it works to how long it will take for you to receive the package.
PS: In every page, a chatbox will welcome you and offer its assistance, meaning that they have incorporated even the last word of technological development in their website.
“Fostering the careers of emerging artists”
Chelsea Neman Nassib founded Tappan in 2012 as she realised how difficult was for her to find artists for her interior design activities. Thus, she and her team created a great website hosting emerging talents for new or seasoned collectors. On their website, one may witness an outstanding way of showing artworks; they are all placed in a specific frame creating a sense of consistency and tidiness. If you want to learn more about each artist you can take a look at Studio Visits, a section dedicated to artists in the form of interviews, and in a way, you get to read their answers and figure out a few things about their personality.
PS: For those who are not familiar with artistic terms, a cute glossary is included to clarify anything that may need to be explained.
“The Premier source for original art”
Zatista.com’s team mentions in their about page that they want to provide the best purchasing experience and to treat others as they would like to be treated. As far as the user experience is concerned, this website is again quite easy to explore. Also, it provides the option for the user to virtually view the artwork on a wall with pieces of furniture around. As it is quite difficult for the art pieces to be returned in other online marketplaces, they mention frequently on their pages that the items can be returned within 14 days. One cannot skip Zatista’s art explorer; the user can select the works that they like and as they go along, Zatista makes suggestions based on the user’s selection.
PS: Inspiration section: news, courses and guest curators. We are going to spend a lot of time here.
“The world’s best contemporary art. Online.”
Are you a fan of magenta colour? Then you should definitely like this art place. On the home page, one may find their weekly selection of art pieces and a number of artists they suggest.
But their home page is just a small taste of the website. You need to spend time and you will discover that all of your questions can be answered through the different pages. Their client program is called the Collector’s Circle and whoever joins it acquires benefits like exclusive offers, art advising, concierge services and logistics coordination. This website also hosts live auctions. If the visitor wants to view the artwork at a scale, there is the option to see the artpiece among the icons of two people in order for him or her to perceive the size of it. Another interesting fact is that the visitor cannot see the price, unless they log in.
PS: If you click on the Movements & Style option on the main menu, the visitor is transferred in a page where they can find a small description about each art movement and following pieces that are suggested by Artspace, falling under that category.
“Don’t settle for boring walls”
The website urges every person to buy a piece, whether they know things about art or have no clue about it, whether they are first-time buyers or collectors. One thing that they are particularly proud of is the commission that they give to their artists (85%). They also claim to turn pixels into prints using giclée printing, which is a fine art digital printing method, enhancing the colour and clarity of each work. In addition, on Drool there is a section named Art Fundraiser and is dedicated to art pieces that when they are sold, 60% of the funds goes to the protection of forests and the fight against deforestation.
PS: We loved their Art finder quiz, which gives the visitor suggestions after they answer a few questions about art and themselves.
10. Tiny Show Case
Since 2004, every Tuesday, the team of Tiny Show Case releases a limited edition of art they consider phenomenal, as they note on their About page. A quite simple website that the word “minimal” barely starts to describe it, in a good way. To be honest, once visitors read about where the funds goes, they will be less interested in the layout of the Tiny Show Case website: when a piece is sold, a portion of the money goes to a charitable organisation that the artist chooses.