May 9, 2013
Online Art Sites You Need to Shop Now
White cubes and gallerinas leave you cold? Love art but hate the room-temp chardonnay they serve at the openings? These days you can build your collection from home, and you don't need a Charles Saatchi budget to do it. Here, our favourite places to feed our fix.
Founded by then-Princeton undergrad Carter Cleveland in 2009 and backed by the likes of Wendi Murdoch and uber-dealer Larry Gagosian, Artsy is a Pandora for the art world, tailoring artist recommendations to users with its algorithmic Art Genome Project. The high-end site features lush encyclopedic editorial and more than 5000 artists whose works can be filtered by medium, colour, price, and size: from Massimo Vitali's Sarakiniko (price upon request), a large-format photograph of the Greek moonscape-resembling beach, to Mickalene Thomas' exuberant Portrait of Lili in Colour ($6000), to Yang Jiechang's chinoiserie Skull ($1283).
Named for The University of Michigan's Tappan Fine Arts Library, where co-founders Chelsea Newman and Jordan Klein first met, LA-based Tappan Collective offers breakout artwork at affordable prices. Don't miss Bird Attack ($150) by oil painter Meghan Howland, Out of this World ($350) by silkscreen phenom Martin Davis, and the lens flare-tastic Chateau Marmont, by photographer (and director and actress) Gia Coppola.
Offering works by heavyweights like Damien Hirst and Helmut Newton, and more recent art world darlings such as British taxidermy savant Polly Morgan, Eyestorm publishes limited-edition contemporary art. Look for fashion favourite Lisa Eisner and her documentary-style rodeo girls photographs, including portrait Miss Rodeo Idaho's Chaps ($560), Deesse VIII - Photo de Classe ($790) by cover illustrator-turned-digital collagist Delphine Lebourgeois, and Live Let Live ($1350) a collaborative screen print by pop art luminary Peter Blake and Beach Boys icon Brian Wilson.
Specializing in North American and British photography, Eye Buy Art releases exclusive pairs of photographs every two weeks. Sign up for their newsletter to get first dibs on the goods, which include voyeuristic environmental studies by Montreal resident Marshall Byrd Sterling (from $25), gorgeous botanical detail shots of artificial plants by Mexican artist Beatriz Diaz (from $25 each), and gravity-defying portraits by Toronto-based Adam Rankin (from $50), before they go public.
An online photo behemoth with 16 brick-and-mortar galleries in Europe and the US, Lumas stocks modern masters like Nobuyoshi Araki, Nan Goldin, and Juergen Teller, but also less expected selections, ranging from an Easy Rider film still ($200), to the mesmerising architecture detail Parkgaragen Hannover ($620) by industry legend Heinrich Heidersberger, to an aerial satellite view of Rotterdam ($380).
Founded by fashion designer Cynthia Rowley and her art aficionado husband Bill Powers, Exhibition A is an excellent stop for budget-friendly prints by buzzed-about artists. The site operates on the edition model: offering both limited-edition runs of 50 as well as "open editions," in which works by the likes of Wes Lang and Rene Ricard are available sans predetermined limits for a timeline of four weeks. Scoop up the anonymously glamorous Real Beauty ($150) by Vanity Fair lenswoman Jessica Craig-Martin, Cynthia Daignault's record player still life, Someone was saying the music was over and no one had noticed ($150), or Lucien Smith's lo-fi Hurricane Sandy-themed zine Frankenstorm ($40).
Explore: Dennis Hopper, Jordan Klein, Martin Davis, Meghan Howland, Lisa Eisner, Delphine Lebourgeois, Peter Blake, Brian Wilson, Beatriz Diaz, Adam Rankin, Marshall Byrd Sterling, Easy Rider, Jessica Craig Martin, Chelsea Newman, Massimo Vitali, Art.sy, Tappan Collective, Tappan Collective, Eyestorm, Eye Buy Art, Lumas, Exhibition A, Exhibition A, Larry Gagosian, Art Genome Project, Carter Cleveland, Mickalene Thomas, Lucien Smith