Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

How to buy art

Art Dog - JuliaMcKenzie_Longing smaller.jpg
bo.lee_Nate Frizzell_To see Her as You'd See a Star.jpg
Nicky Wheeler.jpg

Think you need a couple of thousand pounds behind you to invest in art? Think again.

For proof, head down to Battersea Park, London this weekend for the increasingly popular Affordable Art Fair? It’s on from 10-13 March, and is a great day out if you want to buy some art. Whether you want to spend thousands on one piece or just £50 for a print for your living room, you’ll find something beautiful and unique at this fair - examples of which are pictured above.

If you’re new to the art buying scene, then fear not because we spoke to Nicky Wheeler, the Fair’s Director, who gave us her expert art buying tips.

1. Preparation

Preparation is key to anything and shopping at an art fair is no exception. If you have a space in mind, have a think about what you are looking for before you arrive at the fair and take a note of any practicalities such as size or lighting levels. But don’t buy something just to match your colour scheme – hopefully your art will have a longer shelf life than your soft furnishings.

2. Budget

Go with a budget in mind but be prepared to blow it if you see a piece that you just can’t live without. If you really can't afford to fork out the full amount for the piece, ask if the gallery offers interest-free installments through the Own Art Scheme. If you’re just starting out buying art and your pockets are not too deep, consider original prints, such as screenprints and etchings, which are a great entry-level option.

3. Look

When you get to the fair, pick up a stand plan or catalogue, take your time to look around, making notes on galleries and pieces that you like, and the essentials, including artist, size and price. With 120 galleries at AAF selling paintings, original prints, photography, sculpture and applied arts, all priced from £50 to £4,000, there’s massive range of styles and mediums under one roof with a price to suit all pockets.

4. Ask

Looking at and buying art should be an enjoyable experience, not an intimidating one where you’re worried about getting it wrong. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, art dealers are only too keen to talk about their artists’ work.

5. Catch a rising star

There is no way of guaranteeing which artists will become collectable, but the Affordable Art Fair has long been a hunting ground for collectors looking to spot the next rising star. For this fair we are delighted to be working with jotta, the community of practicing artists borne from the University of the Arts London who have curated a thematic exhibition entitled ‘Devour’, which features exciting and stimulating work by young graduates from the jotta community.

6. Follow your heart

First and foremost, choose something that you love, not something you think you should buy. Art is a reflection of you and your personality, so follow your heart rather than pondering on the possible financial return.

The Affordable Art Fair is held twice a year in London, and once a year in Bristol. For more information visit affordableartfair.co.uk



Top 20 inspirational women


Prada: Real Fantasies Video


iPad 2 launches



The easy bake that makes you look like an expert

Low on effort, high on style

by Amy Swales
27 Oct 2016

This badass Bake Off star has shaved off all her hair

And she looks phenomenal

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Oct 2016

This incredible ‘hangover bar’ is what mornings after were made for

Massages, smoothies and trash TV.

by Moya Crockett
27 Oct 2016

Revealed: the most profitable second languages that we need to learn

Time to go back to school...

by Kayleigh Dray
27 Oct 2016

The two little words you should never use when asking for a raise

Don’t blow it.

by Moya Crockett
27 Oct 2016

The one word you should never say to your partner

It can ruin your relationship, experts have revealed

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

Five orgasm myths busted and how to have better sex

Finding the fireworks

by The Stylist web team
26 Oct 2016

Ryanair are having a £2 seat sale to over 170 holiday destinations

But there’s a catch…

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

Quiz: Bake Off fans, which iconic GBBO star are you?

Are you a Mary Berry, Mel Giedroyc, Sue Perkins, or Paul Hollywood? Time to find out…

by Kayleigh Dray
26 Oct 2016

Police have shocking reaction to woman being groped on a plane

Police have shocking reaction to woman being groped on a plane

by Sarah Biddlecombe
26 Oct 2016