Affordable art fair finds under 500
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Beyond the Price Tag: Unlocking the World of Affordable Art

Are you looking to invest in a new piece of artwork but don't want to break the bank? The Affordable Art Fair might just be the answer. Take a look at what to expect from the world's most inclusive art event.

Naomi Chadderton
Naomi Chadderton
An experienced editor and journalist specialising in news and lifestyle.

There's no getting around it – art can be expensive. What's more, buying it can be an intimidating process, particularly if you're new to the game. From the artists to invest in, the numerous different galleries, websites, auction houses and flea markets to peruse, as well as the wildly varying price tags, the whole thing can be a minefield.

However, perhaps you've finally paid off your mortgage, have a little more disposable income and are toying with the idea of investing in some new art for your home. Then you're in luck, as the Affordable Art Fair bridges the gap between desire and affordability, and is a beacon for art enthusiasts and collectors alike since its inception in Battersea back in 1999.

Today it has grown into a worldwide phenomenon, hosting events in 14 cities around the world including Berlin, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore, all of which bring together an eclectic mix of handpicked galleries offering works designed to appeal to both first-time buyers and seasoned art collectors.

What to Expect at The Affordable Art Fair: London

There are three London events to enjoy each year – two in Battersea and one in Hampstead Heath, where art aficionados can expect over 100 leading galleries from the likes of London, Hong Kong, New York and Barcelona, all presenting global contemporary art and with prices ranging from £50 - £7,500.

The first UK fair in the show's 25th anniversary year, we're particularly looking forward to lenticular artworks inspired by cloud formations by campaign artist Lawrie Hutcheon, a monumental installation titled Flight by Alejandro Propato, which will be suspended in the fair’s entrance hall, plus the work of Sudanese artist Hussein Salim, who is exhibiting at the fair for the first time with Barnes artist collective.

Nine new galleries will also be making their debut including esteemed London-based galleries McKay Williamson, Art Gazette and Synergy Fine Art; Ramsgate-based Kingsford Gallery showcasing innovative new textile art by Shelly Goldsmith and Jessie Cuts; and Hong Kong-based Art Actually and Art Current Gallery, which represents artists who fuse Eastern tradition with Western aesthetics, including Terence Two.

Elsewhere there will be a special exhibition celebrating International Women’s Day and Art After Dark Lates will be given a new twist to mark the occasion, with complimentary drinks and live DJs.

While we highly suggest spending time checking out each and every artist, the show has curated some of their favourite pieces under £500 and under £1,000 in special displays for savvy art hunters, so if you’re really on a budget, then head to those first.

INFO: 6-10 March 2024, Battersea Park; 8-12 May 2024, Hampstead; October 2024, Battersea Park

Read more: Artist Stephen Charlton on Designing His Unretirement

affordable art fair drinks area people  at a bar


A floral artwork on display at the Affordable Art Fair in Dubai.


What to Expect at Affordable Art Fair: New York

Held at Chelsea’s Metropolitan Pavilion, visitors to NYC’s spring edition of the show will be able to check out presentations from over 75 galleries – many from New York themselves - in a vast array of media, from paintings and prints to sculptures and photographs.

This year we’re particularly looking forward to live painting with Belgian artist Jules Wittock, who will paint a new work titled Play onsite at the Activation Stand during fair hours on Saturday and Sunday, while we’ve already got our eyes on work from Brazilian artist Liza Domingues and Brooklyn-based gallery, Sheer.

All artworks at the fair range from between $100 to $12,000, but for those really looking to bag a bargain, the fair’s longstanding and much-loved feature, the ‘Finds Under $500 and Wonders Under $1,000’ walls, are back and make for the perfect place to start.

Affordable Art Fair poster.


affordable art fair tigers in pool


Tips for Buying Art on a Budget:

Set a Budget:

It might sound obvious, but it’s important to decide how much you are willing to spend before you start looking for art. This will help narrow your search and prevent you from overspending.

Start Small:

While it can be tempting to want to complete your collection right away, as the old saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. It can take time to discover your true taste, and the more you see, the more you can hone your own tastes and preferences, so start with one piece you really love and go from there.

Explore Emerging Artists:

With an artist's work typically most affordable when they’re first starting out, and the fact you’re likely to be one of their first collectors, opting to buy a piece from an emerging artist is a no-brainer.

Pay in Instalments:

Fallen in love with a piece of artwork that is way out of your budget? It doesn't mean all hope is lost. Lots of galleries and exhibitions allow customers to buy original art with interest free loans, including the Affordable Art Fair, where you can split the cost of your payments with 0 per cent interest, so don't forget to ask.