Art is one of the important parts of our human civilization, and one that may seem recent but has been with us throughout the millennia. Out of the 6 stages in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, aesthetic needs are also included and they are very important for a person’s lifetime development. Keeping and owning great displays of art that inspire and move us is one of the most profound experiences for a person. Owning your own piece of art is more than just keeping a collection: it is also a form of expression. It is an expression of your own experiences and inner thoughts that can be displayed in your home or place of work to showcase it to others and express yourself freely. Not every person can create their own art, so buying art from someone else is the next best option that most people can easily opt for.
Today, the modern art movement is prevalent, and classical art is re-emerging. The modern art movement started as a movement of dissent. The dissent was aimed at criticizing the strict standards of classical art. The whole basis of the dissent was that the standards set by the classical school of art were too exclusionary and hard to follow. These stringent standards made no room for personal expression or personal freedom of aesthetic capabilities. Because of this exclusionary mentality in the classical school of art, it was hard for the lay persons to make an entry into any kind of classical art school or competition. This created a class divide that made the classical school of art wreak of elitism and classism.
As you can see, this elitism and exclusionary attitude didn’t sit too well with the modernists, and eventually they rose up and created a dissent movement of art known as impressionism. Impressionists were mainly concerned with levelling the playing field for all kinds of independent artists and getting them some well deserved recognition that they deserved. With the modern imperialists the standards of what constitutes good art eventually blurred.
When you fast forward to today, the modern art movement, you can see how convoluted some of it has actually become. Modern art has no room for any official standards but it is purely about impressionism. With the modern art movement the motto is that beauty is always in the eyes of the beholder. Because of this core belief that lies at the center of the modern art, what passes as art has become a very broad definition. Anything and everything can be considered art, and it all depends on just how much traction a particular art work gains and how many modern galleries pick it up. This kind of supply and demand creates a chain of events that leads to all kinds of sub-par works of art being passed off as great and high in demand, regardless of objective critique and standards.
Why is Art Expensive?
With the advent of the modern art movement and the drop in the strict standards of art, you would think that the prices in the art pieces would drop and they would become more accessible, but that would be wrong. The lack of affordable artwork in today’s modern art movement is a testament to that statement being false. So why exactly is there a shortage of affordable artwork and why is art expensive? The answer to that question lies in the examination of the art market that is currently at play these days.
A lot of the reason that art that may even make you question its integrity sells for some high is due to the impressionist movement around the 20th century, which aimed to do away with the classical elitism of the art world in favor of a more subjective, self-identity version of it. It stated that the beauty of the art lies in the beholder, and was followed by art that had a lot of integrity in its own right, just seemingly unconventional from the strict criteria of the community before. But with each passing generation, the art quality squandered and was justified as beautiful in its own right by the subjective metric and meaning in subtlety.
This explains the decline in quality, but it again begs the question that if it is so bad then why is art expensive? That requires looking at the business as a whole. There are a lot of in groups and politics in the community that favors names, and without a name, you can’t even sell an aesthetically crumpled tissue to these enthusiasts for a dime. And the art community is, for many people in the trade, a front and means for money laundering. Trading art is perfectly legal and the expensive prices are normal for the business, so people will sell money loads for illegal purposes, but can’t be held accountable, because they also got a half-hearted painting which the modern art movement has led people to believe is still derived of some form of meaning. And because these ruses for means of illegal activity would sell so high, it inflated the entire market, making seemingly similar art something to achieve if one wants to make profit, but it also made people want more art like that, since they began seeing the status of art like this, which is nothing more than just lines and abstract subtlety.
This is why photographs of potatoes sell for 1 million Euros and expressionist artworks like the Interchange (which is little more than messy, unintelligible strokes of a brush on a white canvas) sell for as much as $300 million US dollars.
How to Get Affordable Artwork
Worry not, fellow art enthusiast. Just because the mainstream art galleries and social gathering can show off the same snobbish behavior which the impressionists wished to avoid, doesn’t mean it does not exist. Do not think that it is impossible to find a source for affordable art that is also made in good taste and quality. The truth is that there is no lack of sources where one can buy art of their choosing for very affordable prices. In this aspect, the internet reigns supreme and will be there for all purposes.
Websites like Deviant Art and Art Station are very monumental as an avenue for people to display their artwork and get as much praise with legitimate critiques for free. Often the reception is far more numerous for artworks on websites like this, and there are artists that use these host sites for all kind of art works. You will find people who are typical expressionists and impressionists with their work. You’ll see people sharing their classical artwork. There will be an abundance in sculptors, those who work in the abstract, and even fan art in these websites. And since these artists are mostly freelancers who see art more as a hobby they can profit off of, as opposed to a business (like in the mainstream art world), it is very easy to find someone who will sell you one of their original works, and the cheap rates they offer very much constitutes as affordable artwork.
So, again, your best bet for affordable artwork is to buy affordable art online. Many artists in these art sharing websites will also do commissions, as per the request of the client, and will sell the affordable art to you at a much cheaper rate than you could find at art galleries, and the quality will be monumentally better than those places as well. Since the internet and these websites are open communities that allow reception from anyone, it prevents the horrid, self congratulatory behavior of the mainstream community that persists to sell mediocre products for incredibly high prices, and fail to purge the problematic legal loop holes and all of the illegal activity that gets conducted in their presence.
To conclude, though the mainstream art community seems to be selling half-hazard artworks and that too for such a fortune, don’t let it discourage you from finding affordable artwork through other venues. The art gallery scene and culture of those art enthusiasts are adopted from the 20th century impressionist movement and are laced in a lot of money laundering and illegal activity taking place in the background. Despite being a movement against elitism and establishment, the modern art movement sure has become that. To truly buy affordable art online, look at artists in websites like Deviant Art and Art Station, who are more than willing for commissions. And if communities like these seem mystifying, look into freelance artists online who have their own websites and are more than willing to do commissions for affordable artwork much cheaper than most other artists in the trade, especially those who take part in the mainstream art community, which is very exclusionary and elitist. Affordable art prints aren’t hard to find, you just have to turn your gaze away from the art galleries and look into the internet.