Here's the key to buying art: Buy what you love and want to live with. (And, of course, what you can afford.) One of the biggest names in art is making this even easier.
In case you need a refresher, even though we know you learned this on a school trip to the gallery (which wasn't the last time you were there, was it?) Charles and Marcus Saatchi founded the advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi in London in 1970. Their early investors included designer Mary Quant, and over the following 30 years, the company grew to 6,500 employees world-wide due acquisitions of marketing and advertising businesses around the world. Silk Cut (back when they were allowed to advertise big-time) and British Airways were long-time clients. (This year we loved their Superbowl Tide Miracle Stain ad.)
Charles started collecting art in 1969 at the age of 26. In 1985, he opened the Saatchi Gallery in St. John's Wood to make his collection available to the public. In 2003 it moved to County Hall on the South Bank, and since 2008, it's been on the King's Road in Chelsea. (Conveniently, he and his wife, Nigella Lawson, live mere metres away.)
Since the first Young British Artist exhibit in 1992 (which featured Damien Hirst's infamous shark, The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living), the Saatchi Gallery has launched the careers of numerous British artists, including Hirst and Tracey Emin. Emin, of course, is renowned for My Bed, an installation comprised of dirty sheets, used condoms, and other unspeakables.
With 162,482 pieces of art available for sale (and growing every few minutes), Saatchi Art Online is making the discovery of new artists even easier. (They're also making the buying part easier with a feature that allows you to see the piece in a room, and an quick-framing option if you really can't be fussed.) We've got five pieces for five budgets to give you an idea of what's out there.
The Transmitter sounds like too sci-fi a name for this lovely, tranquil, large piece of art that would look excellent over a sofa. (Just check out 'View in a Room'.) It must be the calming influence of Florida's Gulf Coast, where the artist lives.
© Ysabel LeMay
This graduate of the Camberwell College of Art paints abstract patterns. This one is acrylic on wood. We would like it in our library, please.
© Sarah Willett
This painter from the Czech Republic paints simple, elegant oils. But not so simple that we know exactly what we're looking at. A chandelier, or a floating creation of candles? Under the skylight in the loft.
© Maerk Hospodarsky
We want this facing our desk far more than we want an apostrophe in the title. This Turkish photographer creates lots of interesting women, but this one works for us because she looks both wacky and nice.
© Isil Arisoy
This graphic designer-artist charms us with his foreshadowing doe. Plus, we love the pattern on the buck. Hanging in our powder room, so we can be reminded not to have (to have?) delusions of grandeur.
© Jason Ratliff