Keeping it pretty: Art you can afford edition

If you’re part of the one percent that can afford a piece of art by Andy Warhol, please stop reading this. You just don’t need any more tips. But for those of you who, like me, currently only covet a Robert Longo, or Kiki Smith, here’s a piece of advice. Forget about them! Value is in the eye of the beholder, and with the advent of independent e-commerce sites springing up we’re seeing an almost endless supply of new work by young artists that draw from contemporary culture. Giving us insight into how we’re ingesting the present world.

Graphic designers like the great Milton Glaser and his firm, Push Pin, understood the necessity for people to come into contact with good design everyday. He created the iconic “I HEART NY” logo but had no idea it would inspire the world and countless variations of the design (really, I love LA, really?). So if you’re in the market for something pretty, consider Society 6. It’s an independent aggregator of designers. Thousands of illustrations in every genre are available for purchase. The energy is young, biting, critical, melancholic, funny, and sometimes just plain pretty. Artists and designers upload their work for us to peruse and with a simple click of you’re able to purchase a piece. Memes are running wild here, from comic book superheroes to cheeky characters on sitcoms illustrated like badass versions of themselves. It’s a total free for all, and Society 6 is working on its first art book collection culled from the website.

It’s hard to say what people will like, but looking through the collection I’ve kind of fallen in love with Melissa Gable (please see The Problem with Pandas) and Simon C Page, and Edgar MT, but the list grows everyday. Muxxi kills me, and so does a guy named Powerpig (hilarious). It’s also affordable enough to where you can collect as many as you’d like. You never know who’s going to be the next Shepard FaireyEtsy has a slew of designers as well.

Pushing the idea one step further you’re able to buy the work beyond more than just a print. Stretched canvases are an option, as are smart phone, laptop, and mp3 covers. A snob would undoubtedly view the options as crass or pedestrian. But honestly, what do they know. In a world where top designers are partnering with mass retailers at breakneck speed, it’s anyone’s game. And if Andy were alive, he’d be all over it. I mean, it’s called Pop Art. How rarefied is it really supposed to be?