Traditionally the province of galleries and art consultants, the process of procuring art has moved online with a host of sites like Saatchiart.com, Artkapsule.com, Artspan.com, Artsy.net, 1stdibs.com, Incollect.com, Artspace.com and Artists Lend Support.com. While stepping into a gallery or auction house is part of the curatorial experience, these online resources have the potential to alter the art market, giving users what they ultimately crave—immediacy.
In an effort to navigate this new landscape, Editor at Large has compiled a breakdown of each source and how interior design firms such as Drake Design Associates, Brad Ford ID and J+G Design are procuring artwork online that ranges in price from $100 to $1 million-plus for client projects.
“I may start a search online but then I think it's important to see things in person,” said Brad Ford. “Art helps define a space and gives a sense of who the space belongs to or what it represents. To me it always comes down to the architecture, the art and the furnishings. If done thoughtfully, each of these elements should compliment one another and never compete.”
Price range of pieces: $2,000 to $10,000 (Originals from $100 to $30,000)
Current inventory: Over 500,000 original works for sale
Number of featured artists: 40,000 artists from more than 70 countries
Categories represented: Paintings, drawings, sculpture and photography in a range of prices by artists from around the world
Benefit for interior designers: The free Art Advisory service provides expert help in finding art for every budget
Price range of pieces: $500 to $50,000
Current inventory: Artkapsule does not carry a set number of pieces, rather it works with a wide range of artists and galleries to source the right piece for every space
Number of featured artists: Around a dozen artists are featured on the site, which is frequently updated
Categories represented: ArtKapsule deals exclusively in contemporary art including work by sculptors, video artists, conceptual artists, ceramicists etc.
Benefit for interior designers: Artkapsule considers itself “the missing link” between interior designers and clients when it comes to finishing an interiors project with the right artwork
“Art is meant to be seen in person,” said Jamie Drake. “It’s an experience that no computer screen can really capture. But utilizing online resources helps greatly in narrowing the search and pre-shopping. Art is the final touch to any room. ‘Good’ art inspires conversations and wonder, and those two things aid your design in leaving a lasting impression.”
Price range of pieces: Mainly original works under $100
Current inventory: 600,000
Number of featured artists: 4,200 artists from 51 countries
Categories represented: Paintings, mixed media, photographs, sculptures, jewelry and more
Benefit for interior designers: Artspan is currently doing a complete website redesign and one of the features of the new site will be a curated section for design professionals
Price range of pieces: $100 to $1,000,000+
Current inventory: 190,000 images of art and architecture
Number of featured artists: 25,000 artists from over 2,000 galleries and over 300 museum and institutional partners, such as Barbara Kruger and Alex Katz.
Categories represented: Prints, sculpture, photography, film video and more
Benefit for interior designers: Interior designers can target their search on Artsy by filtering artworks or design works by price, medium and size
“I choose art pieces, when I am asked, from art shows and galleries,” said Robert Couterier. “Art is as important as the air you breathe! A beautiful house without art is like a dumb model: beautiful at first glance, easily forgotten and frightening to live with.”
Price range of pieces: $100 to $2.5 million
Current inventory: 50,000 in the fine art category and around 24,000 sculptures, drawings, prints, photos, and other decorative art within the furniture category
Number of featured artists: 25 galleries in New York and Los Angeles as well as 280 dealers from across the globe
Categories represented: Fine art, sculptures, drawings, prints, photos, mixed media and watercolors
Benefit for interior designers: 1stdibs offers concierge service to manage orders from quote to delivery for interior designers, architects and decorators. Services include dedicated personalized assistance throughout their entire transaction, access to net price, door-to-door shipping services, and the ability to organize client projects with a shared virtual portfolio
Price range of pieces: $10,000 to $200,000
Current inventory: 2,000
Number of featured artists: 540
Categories represented: Antiques, fine art and design pieces from America and Europe
Benefit for interior designers: Incollect.com has a design section on the site where top designers such as Ellie Cullman and Suzanne Tucker feature their projects free of charge. Designers can self-publish articles at any time (there are writers on staff to assist in the writing process) and create collections of works or inspiration much like a Pinterest board
Price range of pieces: $100 to $100,000 with a majority of the works under $10,000
Current inventory: More than 4,000
Number of featured artists: More than 1,500
Categories represented: Paintings, sculptures, photographs, limited edition prints and artist designed objects
Benefit for interior designers: The “InSpace” trade program allows members of the trade to get a professional discount of 15% off artworks.
“I always prefer to source art in person, but often I don’t have the time, so I look on galleries websites to narrow down the field and then set up appointments to see the works in person,” said Michael Cox of Foley & Cox.
Price range of pieces: $500 to $30,000
Current inventory: 10
Number of featured artists: 13
Categories represented: Photographs, paintings, sculpture and jewelry
Benefit for interior designers: Since the site is for charity, it doesn’t currently have a trade program. Artist Lend Support is a non-profit, fine art website with proceeds going to ALS services and research, or the featured artists specified charity
“Art is so personal so it is something that has to speak to the client,” said Jennifer Beek and Georgie Hambright of J+G Design. “However we try to pull art that corresponds to elements in the room such as the rug. Art is considered a statement piece and is usually an investment so the client really has to love it! We view art as very important to the space—it really does elevate the entire room.”