Art & Design

How To Kick Off A Killer Art Collection Without Breaking Bank

By Sammy Preston
11th Jul 2019

How to start an art collection | Urban List

Collecting original art isn’t just for high rollers, cruising through Art Basel with tonnes of cash to burn on the next big thing.

Buying art and dipping into the wonders of the art world does have a rep for being a pastime just for the world’s wealthy elite (in the words of one pretty prolific collector: I just want a Picasso in my casa, no, my castle). But there are lots of ways to get a shoo-in and kick off your own collection without breaking bank or being Jay-Z.

From handy interest-free financial schemes to shopping emerging art on Instagram—here are all the best ways to buy amazing original art, without the crazy price tags.  

Art Money

Launched in Australia in 2015, Art Money is basically Afterpay, but for art. Rather than drop all your cash in one go, you can take home your favourite piece and pay it off across 10 monthly, interest-free instalments.

The concept is the brainchild of Sydney art hero Paul Becker and these days, Art Money draws in a library of just under 1000 galleries to shop from across Australia, New Zealand and the States. You can shop anything that’s priced between $675 and $50,000, and the program draws in a seriously diverse range of styles from emerging and seriously big-time artists. Check it all out here.

Art Pharmacy

We’d all love to own a Picasso, a Jeff Koons puppy or a Brett Whiteley—hey, maybe even a CJ Hendry or a fresh Anthony Lister canvas. For most of us though, we’re priced out of the game (even with the help of aforementioned Art Money). But that doesn’t mean you should be shopping prints at IKEA. Buying original work from emerging artists is a great way to build up an art collection (you’re supporting the growth of the art community and dressing your walls in really cool shit at the same time). It’s also typically a whole hell of a lot cheaper than buying from established artists.

A great place to start is Art Pharmacy. Launched in Sydney, this online gallery features tonnes of emerging artists’ work at really reasonable prices, shipping all over Australia. There’s something for everyone here, with categories covering paintings, original prints, watercolour, mixed media, photography and illustrations. Check it out here.


If you scroll beyond the beauty bloggers and influencers on endless summer holidays—Instagram’s actually an incredible directory of up and coming art talent. From tattoo artists to illustrators, painters, photographers and graffiti artists, you might just stumble on the next big thing.

Most budding art stars will have websites you can shop, or links to online galleries selling their latest work. You’ve also got direct access to the artist—why not DM them for availability, a custom piece or a quick chat on the influences behind their creativity and vision. To help get you started, check out this list of six amazing emerging artists to follow and shop on Instagram.

Art Auctions

Auctions aren’t just about scoring pre-loved mid-century furniture at a fraction of the cost of its original price. It’s also a pretty exciting place to shop pre-loved art in need of a new wall to call home. As well as major players like Sotheby’s, local auction houses in your city can be a real treasure trove of incredible artworks going under the hammer for a whole lot less than in the gallery. In Sydney, we love Shapiro, but the Australian Art Sales Digest has a solid list of upcoming auctions across Australia and New Zealand.  

Did you know Random International's Rain Room installation is headed to Australia? Head here for all the details. 

Image credit: Beyonce and Jay-Z "APESHIT" music video. 

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