Contemporary Art: How to Build a Collection on a Budget

Australia’s contemporary art scene is known for its unique blend of Indigenous, European, and Asian influences, resulting in a dynamic and diverse range of artistic styles and mediums. From traditional Aboriginal art to cutting-edge installations and street art, there is no shortage of exciting and innovative works being produced in Australia today. Building a collection of contemporary australian art provides an opportunity to support emerging artists. It offers a chance to explore the rich cultural and historical narratives that make Australia’s art scene distinctive. This article provides actionable tips for building a collection of contemporary Australian art on a budget.

Consider Prints, Multiples, and Editions

One way to start building a contemporary art collection on a budget is to consider prints, multiples, and editions. These works are often less expensive than unique, one-of-a-kind pieces but still offer the opportunity to own a piece by a notable artist. Prints are made in limited editions, often numbered and signed by the artist. Multiples and editions are works made in multiple copies but are still considered limited in number. These works are often produced in collaboration with printmakers or fabricators and can include everything from screen prints and lithographs to sculptures and furniture.

Explore Online Marketplaces

Online marketplaces have made discovering and purchasing modern art pieces on a budget easier. Sites like Artsy, Saatchi Art, and Artspace offer a wide range of works from emerging and established artists at various price points. Many of these sites also offer payment plans or financing options, making it easier to budget for larger purchases.

Visit Student Shows and Art Fairs

One of the best ways to discover emerging artists and affordable works is to attend student shows and art fairs. These events provide opportunities to see works by artists starting their careers and may not yet have gallery representation. Art fairs often feature a mix of emerging and established artists, with works available at various price points.

Build Relationships with Artists and Galleries

Building relationships with artists and galleries can be a great way to discover and purchase affordable modern artworks. Many artists and galleries offer special pricing or discounts to collectors interested in purchasing multiple works or committed to supporting their practice over time. Developing a relationship with an artist or gallery can also provide access to exclusive works and opportunities to purchase works before they are made available to the general public.

Invest in Emerging Artists

Investing in emerging artists can be a great way to build a contemporary art collection on a budget while supporting artists at the beginning of their careers. Emerging artists often offer works at lower prices than more established artists but may still have the potential to increase in value over time. Investing in emerging artists requires research and due diligence, but building a collection that reflects your taste and values can be rewarding.

Set a Budget and Stick to It

Building a collection on a budget requires careful planning and budgeting. Before collecting, set a budget that reflects your financial situation and goals. Be realistic about what you can afford and prioritise works within your budget. Remember that building a collection is a long-term process, and it’s better to start small and build slowly than to overspend and risk financial hardship.

Building a contemporary australian art collection on a budget is possible with research, planning, and patience. By exploring prints, multiples, and editions, attending student shows and art fairs, building relationships with artists and galleries, investing in emerging artists, considering resale value, and setting a budget, collectors can create a unique collection of contemporary art that reflects their taste and values. 

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