Over the last year, many of us have transitioned to remote work, developed housebound hobbies, and generally developed a new, more intimate relationship with the spaces that we call home. If you’re like me, that meant learning to make sauerkraut and accruing an unreasonable amount of house plants, but it also pushed me to create a more engaging space for myself, where I could wake up to art that moved me and pushed me to look into my own creative philosophy.
Although art collection is often framed as a hobby that is only accessible to wealthy elites, having a house full of work from talented, contemporary artists is an attainable goal for a modest budget if you know where to look. If you’re not sure where to start, check out the work of these NYC-based artists, whose pieces are available, whether as originals or prints, for under $200.
(And they’d make some pretty great gifts for your creative loved ones over the holidays!)
Nehemiah Brent’s film photography is a loving look into the rising artists, musicians, and thinkers of New York City and Brent’s second home, Massachusetts, in vibrant, living color. From models to writers to emcees, Brent captures the creative people surrounding him in beautiful, dynamic portraits that feel like a sunny slice of a place and time.
gggrimes is a New York-born illustrator, whose intimate illustrations center on queer, BIPOC characters in richly imagined spaces. Their work has been exhibited nationally, and their voice is an important one in the larger discourse of trans and nonbinary representation in contemporary fine arts. The characters they portray feel thoroughly lived-in, and they are often portrayed in richly imagined spaces that provide both a narrative context for the illustrated scene and a time capsule of the queer, black experience today.
gggrimes’ work is available on their website. Follow them on Instagram to hear about drops as soon as they happen so you can get your hands on one of this popular artist’s prints.
Through his artwork, which he has described as “collages in awe of the world,” Luis Martín welcomes us to see through his eyes. The Brooklyn-based collagist draws from personal narratives to create his pieces, but his ultimate goal is to make the individual experience a universal one.
Martín sells his striking and provocative yet accessible works through Saatchi Art, where his prints begin at $100, and many of his originals are available for less than $500 as well.
Few artists can match the raw energy of Dom Rabalais, more commonly known by their stage name, Real Dominic. Beloved for their delightfully unhinged live performances, punchy music, and a playful, unfettered painting style, Real Dominic is a cult fixture in New York’s punk and DIY scenes and a popular touring musician.
Real Dominic’s unframed, original paintings are available at extremely affordable prices, and they also sell their designs in myriad forms, from face masks to throw pillows. Sign up for their mailing list to stay up to date on releases of new original works, which typically sell out within hours.
Printmaker Chris Smith jokingly refers to his work as a second form of ‘street art’, images he creates using found objects from infrastructure, such as street signs, rusted metal, and abandoned lumber. His most recent collection is a series of prints on found materials inspired by Smith’s own photographic images of graffitists and muralists at work.
Smith’s work can be found on Saatchi Art, where his originals and limited edition prints are available starting at $150.
Denise Wong is an accomplished visual artist and curator, who has worked with such institutions as the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation and Columbia University, where she coordinates curatorial opportunities for graduate students. Wong’s art has an organic feel, and often reflects natural features of the landscape. She combines such varied techniques as fluid washes and textured brush strokes with a cool palette and natural shapes to give her work a duality between calm and dynamism.
Wong’s limited edition, handmade prints are available through the shop on her website, and you can find slightly less scarce archival prints of her work at Minted.com.
The Brooklyn-based Keigo Prints, founded and run by master printmaker Keigo Takayashi, is home to a lineup of some of the best living printmakers, whose work is shown in both fine art settings and throughout the urban landscapes of the city. Collective member Evan Hecox, who cites influences as diverse as Japanese prints, Bauhaus typography, and American folk art, has placed his versatile work in galleries, parks, and on the decks of Chocolate Skateboards.
While many of Hecox’s prints go for thousands of dollars, you can occasionally find less expensive print editions through his shop on Artsy. Scoop them up while they’re available, these pieces go fast!
Richard A. Chance’s punchy, often comedic illustrations use pastel shades and subtle distortions of perspective and form to create engaging peeks into black culture and street scenes, as well as companion pieces to stories in publications including New York Times, Playboy, and many more.
His work is available through his website at extremely affordable prices, but his print drops sell out very quickly, so keep an eye out for his media collaborations and gallery exhibits as well.
Contemporary NYC artist Kevin Patterson, who uses the nom de plume PPLPRSN, makes unsettling art meant to drive at sociopolitical points from a fantastical perspective. Born and raised in Washington, D.C., PPLPRSN says that the borderline-surreal contrast between rich and poor neighborhoods in his home city inspired his otherworldly and abstract approach to the very terrestrial issues of race, class, and those strange little details we take for granted in our everyday lives.
PPLPRSN’s work is available at his website, where prints are available at low prices for limited runs.
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