Art collecting may sound like a daunting hobby to pick up. The sticker shock alone at a Manhattan gallery might be enough to send you to Target for some generic contemporary wall art to decorate your pad.
Au contraire, my budget-conscious frère. Now for $50 a month, you can start an art collection (and take home works of art ranging in value from $300 to $10,000) for less than you pay for your cell phone bill. Uprise Art was founded to make artists and their work more accessible. “We make art collecting more affordable with our option to live with the art while investing in it over time,” says founder Tze Chun. An artist and entrepreneur, she launched the online art gallery in 2011.
You can own a painting like White Out by Eric LoPresti, one month at a time. Photo by Olivia Divecchia
“The art world and traditional galleries can be intimidating and hard to navigate,” says Chun. “I launched Uprise Art to solve three main problems that people face when they start looking for art: access, knowledge, and price.”
Tze Chun, owner and founder of the online gallery, helps make art accessible to aspiring collectors. Photo by Kimberly Miller
Now you can peruse the latest work of more than 50 emerging artists from your living room. No fussy gallery opening to attend. You can become a bona fide art collector in your PJ’s. (Of course you’ll have to bring your own wine and cheese.)
As their website says, select your artwork and they do the rest. The team of four at Uprise Art take turns delivering pieces to clients’ homes and offices, often via Zipcar. (There’s a Zipvan parked right across the street from their storage space, which makes things handy.)
One of Uprise Art’s first customers, Mike, in his Brooklyn apartment. On the wall is Sunburn in Naples by Brea Souders. Photo by Uprise Art
About 50% of their collectors invest over time, and they come in all shapes and sizes – from fellow artists and designers, to young professionals in finance, law and consulting. “They do an amazing job of identifying and curating emerging artists,” says Margaret Wang, MBA Student and Uprise Art Collector. “I love being exposed to their work and have the opportunity to collect them as I grow in understanding my own tastes for art.”
Rise (left) by Erin Lynn Welsh and Drafting the Cosmos (right) by Chad Kouri beautify the office of Homepolish, an interior design startup in NYC’s Flatiron District. Photo by Homepolish.
You might be wondering right about now how the artists make out on the deal. Pretty good, in fact. “Our goal is a sustainable model for artists to create work,” says Chun. “When collectors invest monthly, the artists are compensated monthly and this becomes a reliable source of income. Many of our artists have been able to leave their day jobs and focus completely on their art.”
Uprise Art collector, Alisa, a brand strategist living in Manhattan, admires a piece in her collection called Ride by Erin Lynn Welsh. Photo by Uprise Art
Your apartment décor gets an upgrade, you support the arts, and you make an investment in something that may become even more valuable. Makes you think about replacing that ripped Georgia O’Keeffe poster you got from a particularly lucrative Yankee Swap in 2002. It’s probably time.