16 Independent Artists to Know (and Follow) If You Want to Start an Art Collection

In every apartment tour ever, there’s that gallery wall that shines and whistles and makes you wonder: How did they ever accumulate this constellation of wacky and beautiful things that all slot in together like a victorious Tetris puzzle? And where did they even find this art in the first place, aside from the usual suspects: that one illustrator everybody already knows, IKEA, Target, the Society6 homepage, and so on? Assembling an art collection can feel daunting, but the thrilling process of discovery and acquisition can become something of a hobby. Like tennis or mini-golf, I consider it a lifelong sport.

My collection is in the works, so I figured we could trade secrets. I’ve been cruising the internet in my web-convertible with the top down, looking for prints you might want to hang on the plaster that divides you and your neighbor, and I tried to find something for everyone, whether you fancy colored pencils, or ballpoint pens, or vector illustrations, or screenprint ink, or the texture of a risoprint, or gouache. Or, all of the above mixed together in a cookie-dough-bowl style menagerie. In l’esprit of Potluck Month, below is a recipe for one salon-style wall. Please refrain from licking the spoon (I’m a germaphobe).

1.Printed Goods, $25-$50

Louisiana spilled the beans on this one. They have over 30 prints for sale, though my bias lies with the ones that look like a technicolor take on Giorgio de Chirico.

2.B. D. Graft, $170-$900

Graft updates this page with his work for sale, and his sensibility is a superpower that makes you crack a smile.

3.Jing Wei, $20-$45

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Weekends are for self reflection and blob appreciation

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Jing Wei has drawings and prints for sale — I love Sunday pictured above, because of the soothing and quiet way it reimagines this contentious day of the week, and because of the self-referential-ness of art that depicts more art. Look at the head bobbing and navigating the Richard Serra-shaped spiral in the bottom right corner!

4.Ana Leovy, $30-$40

Ana Leovy draws a familiar face to Man Repeller readers, and sells even more prints here!

5.Kendra Dandy, $13-$18

If you’re drawn to Donald Robertson, then I have a feeling you’re going to get along quite nicely with one of Kendra Dandy’s flamingos or pretzels.

6.Tess Smith-Roberts, $2-$40

Acquiring and framing a Tess Smith-Roberts print is like installing a permanent snow-cone in your home.

7.Clara Selina Bach, $11-$105

Clara Selina Bach’s Horses print appeals to me as a contemporary spin on the Unicorn in Captivity tapestry from the late Middle Ages.

8.Joana Avillez, $40

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#LittleLulu #BraveIrene

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Joana Avillez’s Eloise print has been a standing item on my holiday wish list for the past few years — a detail shot of her mythical spread for New York Magazine is pictured above. I remember first reveling in its dissection while sitting in the magazine section of “The Rock,” a cuddly pet-name for Brown’s campus library, and it’s a triumph in the admirable practice of planting Easter eggs.

9.Picture Room in Brooklyn, $10-$6,500

You can also buy Avillez’s original drawings from the Picture Room, where they sell all sorts of artist’s works, and I’ve had my eye on Benjamin Critton‘s DOT series for quite some time.

10.Liana Jegers, $20

You may recognize her from her recent Man Repeller illustration of a voting sticker. I recently bought a few of Jeger’s books at the New York Art Book Fair and my significant other suggested that I get those framed, too (this idea’s not half bad). Above’s a great one Jegers made for a Chicago bookstore’s literary print series.

11.Clay Hickson, $20

And now for something completely different, for the same series: Clay Hickson collapsed John Steinbeck’s 208-page novel Tortilla Flat into one page, also available online.

12.Odine Projects, $45-$75

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Achieving an air of minimalism with pastel pencils is noteworthy in its own right.

13.Hallie Bateman, $30-$110

My friend Sydney and I send print ideas back and forth, and she recently laser-beamed Hallie Bateman’s series of Women in Museums over to me, a variation on a theme considering Jing Wei’s print mentioned earlier.

14.Babak Ganjei, $50-$320

I am metaphorically in the bush outside and I want this print just because it feels like something Michael Cera would say.

15.Young Blanks, $40

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Table of Trash

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Collaborators and co-conspirators Molly Young and Teddy Blanks reinterpreted the periodic table of elements through the lens of New York trash, replete with empty Colt 45 bottles, Reese’s wrappers and a rogue shoe.

16.Super Rural, $60-$65

Not unlike the secret sauce of Outdoor Voices or Marimekko, a new color-way always makes a familiar thing look desirable. For Like Ever in unadulterated yellow is a revelation.

I have one more great find, but I bought a print to give to a loved one for Christmas and can’t risk them reading about it here. Tell me your secrets in the comments.*

(*If this doesn’t quench your thirst, I also like to peruse Rogallery, along with Christie’s, if the rush of an auction is more your speed.)

Feature image by B.D. Graft.

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