21 Modern Artists To Invest in According to Art Pros

by posted in FOREX TRADING, Investments, MAKE MONEY, TRENDING

Growing up, I was obsessed with Edvard Munch’s “The Scream” and Vincent van Gogh’s less-famous “Wheat Fields” series. I knew only millionaires could afford such iconic paintings and brushed off investing in art at an early age. 

As I learned more about portfolio diversification and how artworks have the potential to appreciate significantly in value over time, I made it a goal to buy a few pieces of art in my lifetime. If you’re also planning to invest your money in art, here are some established artists and emerging talents whose work could bring aesthetic pleasure and financial gain to your life.

Our team at Wealth of Geeks also spoke with some reputable art pros to get their input on which artists avid collectors and investors should be looking at now. Investing in art does not mean you have to spend millions. You can score art from some of the artists mentioned in this list for less than $1,000. 

1. Rafa Macarrón

rafa
Image Credit: Natalia Lobato, CC BY 2.0/WikiCommons.

Rafa Macarrón is a Spanish artist known for his vibrant doodle-like paintings. He paints whimsical characters with exaggerated figures, vibrant colors, and intricate patterns, creating artwork with a surreal, dreamlike quality. Macarrón’s ability to evoke emotion, revisit childlike wonder, and invite viewers to explore his imaginative world makes him a standout artist in the contemporary art scene.

Macarrón’s paintings sell for an average of $163,000, with his highest-selling work auctioned off by Sotheby’s for around $560,000.

2. Daniel Arsham

daniel arsham
Image Credit: GRM282, CC BY-SA 4.0/WikiCommons.

Daniel Arsham is a contemporary American who creates art combining sculpture, architecture, and performance. 

Arsham’s unique “fictional archaeology” concept presents familiar objects as future artifacts. In most of his work, he explores the themes of time and decay, using unusual materials, like volcanic ash, stone, and crystal, to create otherwordly pieces. Daniel Arsham’s art ranges from just $1,000 for minor work to over $450,000 for his major pieces.

3. Michael Dotson

dotson
Image Credit: Michael Dotson/Artsy.

Michael Dotson is a Brooklyn-based painter and visual artist who sources his images from screenshots of Disney characters, video games, and interiors. He then takes the focus of his piece out of its context, abstracting the nostalgic imagery and leaving a darker perspective. 

With his signature anthropomorphic style and love for pop culture and cartoons, Dotson creates colorful, airbrushed-looking acrylic paintings. The price of Dotson’s works currently ranges between $135 and $6,500, making them accessible art investment opportunities.

4. Hunt Slonem

slonem
Image Credit: Hunt Slonem/Bender Gallery.

Hunt Slonem is a renowned American contemporary artist known for his vibrant paintings of birds, butterflies, and bunniespainted in his iconic, dreamlike style.  

You’ll know an abstract piece is Slonem’s if it has bold colors, repetitive patterns, and thick brushstrokes that give the artwork a surprising movement. Slonem’s art has sold for $1,800 to $32,000, with an average price of $11,000 per piece.

5. Jadé Fadojutimi

Jade Fadojutimi
Image Credit: Jadé Fadojutimi/Pippy Houldsworth Gallery.

Jadé Fadojutimi is a contemporary British artist known for her vibrant and abstract paintings. Her art explores themes of identity, memory, and emotion. 

Fadojutimi’s painting style often incorporates bold colors, energetic brushwork, expressive gestural marks, and dynamic compositions infused with pop art and symbolism.

Jadé Fadojutimi’s art always gets sold out even before her exhibits open. They bring in thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars at auctions or gallery sales.

6. Yoshimoto Nara

Yoshimoto Nara
Image Credit: Yoshimoto Nara/Artsy.

Yoshitomo Nara is a renowned Japanese artist known for being a huge part of the 1990s Japanese Pop Art movement. He incorporates his distinctive simple but emotive imagery style into his paintings, drawings, sculptures, and decorative furniture. 

Nara takes inspiration from manga, cartoons, and graffiti, often exploring the themes of vulnerability, isolation, childhood, and rebellion. His pieces depict innocent-looking children or animals with large, expressive eyes. 

Yoshitomo Nara’s art is one of Asia’s most expensive artworks, with his highest-selling “Knife Behind Back” auctioned off for $24.9 million at Sotheby’s Hong Kong in 2019.

7. Nicolas Holiber

nicolas holiber
Image Credit: Nicolas Holiber/Artsy.

Nicolas Holiber is an American contemporary artist known for his large-scale sculptures, mixed-media paintings, and public installations. His pieces usually combine intricate craftsmanship, bold colors, and powerful storytelling.

Holiber focuses on environmental and social issues, usually incorporating recycled materials to create impactful and thought-provoking pieces. They engage viewers in conversations about nature, urbanization, and human impact on the planet. 

Holiber’s art, which is available online, ranges from around $500 to $48,000. 

8. Olafur Eliasson

oalafer elaisson
Image Credit: Martin Falbisoner, CC BY-SA 4.0/WikiCommons.

Olafur Eliasson is a Danish-Icelandic contemporary artist known for his immersive installations, sculptures, and large-scale artworks that explore themes of perception, nature, and climate change. 

Eliasson’s art often incorporates light, air, and water elements, such as his suspending “waterfalls” series around New York. 

Other Eliasson art focuses on sensory experiences. His “Your Rainbow Panorama” is a unique elevated 360-degree walkway installed on top of the ARoS art museum in Aarhus, Denmark, in 2011. It was designed with multicolor floor-to-ceiling glass windows, giving people rainbow-colored sweeping views of the city as they walk around a loop.

The artworks of Olafur Eliasson have fetched significant sums at auctions and gallery sales, ranging from $35 to $1.5 million. 

9. Dana Schutz

dana schutz
Image Credit: Dana Schutz/Saatchi Gallery.

Dana Schutz is an American contemporary artist known for her gestural brushwork technique and expressive paintings depicting surreal and fantastical scenes. 

Schutz’s art combines elements of figuration, abstraction, and thought-provoking storytelling. Her vibrantly-colored pieces fall under the themes of identity, human experience, and politics, which are sometimes found to be controversial.

Dana Schutz’s art has been auctioned off multiple times, with prices finalized at $500 to $6.5 million. 

10. Keith Haring

keith haring
Image Credit: Luis Alvaz, CC BY-SA 4.0/WikiCommons.

Keith Haring was an American artist known for his graffiti-inspired doodle art that addresses social and political themes. He primarily worked in public spaces, leaving large-scale murals and chalk outlines in the subways of New York City. Haring’s art communicates complex ideas with simple imagery, bold lines, bright colors, and inclusive aesthetics. 

In 1982 and 1989, Haring produced over 50 public artworks with cartoon figures but serious themes. Haring passed away in 1990 at age 31 from AIDS-related complications, leaving one of his most powerful pieces, “Unfinished Painting,” as a reminder of the many lives cut short by AIDS in the gay community. 

Like many famous artists who passed away, Keith Haring’s work continues to be in demand. His artworks have sold at auction multiple times, with realized prices ranging from $3 million to $6.5 million.

11. Chris Ofili

ofili
Image Credit: Nedbrowne, CC BY-SA 4.0/WikiCommons.

Chris Ofili is a Turner Prize-winner and British contemporary artist known for his paintings incorporating elephant dung. He specializes in vibrant, mixed-media pieces, often featuring intricate layers of paint, resin, glitter, and collage elements. 

Ofili’s art frequently explores race, identity, religion, and cultural history, drawing inspiration from African art and mythology. The objects of his pieces come alive thanks to the rich textures, vivid colors, and intricate compositions. 

Chris Ofili’s art prices sold at auction range from $2,500 to $4.5 million.

12. Loie Hollowell

Loie Hollowell
Image Credit: Loie Hollowell/Pace Gallery.

Loie Hollowell is an American painter and one of the best artists to invest in within the next several years. Hollowell’s pieces are vibrantly colored with organic shapes and bold compositions. Her contemporary art communicates sexuality and female empowerment through abstract, texture, geometric shapes, and symbolism.

At her first solo show in 2016, Hollowell sold her pieces between $8,000 and $15,000. Since then, her work has been sold at auctions with realized prices ranging from $200 to $2.2 million. 

13. Toyin Ojih Odutola

Toyin Ojih Odutola
Image Credit: Toyin Ojih Odutola/Artsy.

Toyin Ojih Odutola is a contemporary Nigerian-American artist known for her intricate and detailed pen, charcoal, and ink drawings. Ojih Odutola’s art explores themes of social issues, identity, race, gender, and her own experiences moving from Africa to New York. 

Listed as one of Forbes’ 2012 “30 Under 30” artists to watch, Toyin Ojih Odutola continues to produce meticulous craftsmanship and rich storytelling in her work. 

Ojih Odutola’s art pieces range from $1,500 to $2.2 million.

14. STIK

STIK
Image Credit: Nandy P, CC BY 2.0/WikiCommons.

STIK is a British street artist known for his distinctive stick-figure style. He first rose to fame in 2013 after BBC featured STIK giving out 75,000 free prints to raise awareness about homelessness in his hometown, Hackney.

STIK’s art resonates with people from all walks of life, mostly for his friendly-looking, monochromatic figures painted with bold lines and minimalistic details. Despite the simplicity of his STIK’s art, all his pieces incorporate powerful messages of unity, community, and social justice. 

STIK has exhibits of his paintings, public murals, and monuments in New York, Tokyo, and London. Artworks by STIK can range from a few thousand to upwards of $400,000. STIK’s bronze sculpture Holding Hands (Maquette) fetched $360,000 at Christie’s in October 2020.

15. Tschabalala Self

Tschabalala Self
Image Credit: Tschabalala Self/Artsy.

Tschabalala Self is an American contemporary artist who paints centuries-old themes of race, gender, identity, and the diversity of humans. Her art confronts societal stereotypes and traditional notions of beauty. 

Self incorporates layers of fabric, paper, and found objects in her paintings, collages, and sculptures. Tschabalala Self already has an impressive body of work, but you can still invest in her artworks, which range from $200 to $1.8 million. 

16. Teiji Hayama

Teiji Hayama
Image Credit: Teiji Hayama/Artsy.

Teiji Hayama is a contemporary Japanese artist known for whimsical artworks depicting Hollywood icons like Elvis and Marilyn Monroe and other pop culture imagery. 

Hayama makes dull grayscale vintage celebrity photos pop by adding blur effects, caricatured elements, or magazine cutouts of droopy eyes and sad mouths. 

Teiji Hayama’s artwork is still accessible to beginner art investors as most of his pieces range from $150 to $20,000. 

17. Tomokazu Matsuyama

Tomokazu Matsuyama
Image Credit: Tomokazu Matsuyama/Kavi Gupta Gallery.

Tomokazu Matsuyama, also known as Matzu, is a Japanese-American contemporary artist celebrated for his multilayered paintings. 

Matzu combines elements of Eastern and Western artistic traditions, taking inspiration from his love of graffiti, woodblock printing, pop art, manga, ukiyo-e, and the Meiji era. Matsuyama’s colorful paintings often explore themes of cultural identity and globalization.

Tomokazu Matsuyama art pieces are sold for as low as $1,300 to as high as $2.5 million.

18. Retna

retna
Image Credit: Chris English, CC BY-SA 3.0/WikiCommons.

Retna, also known as Marquis Lewis, is a famous street artist recognized for merging calligraphy with graffiti. Retna’s work may look simple to most, but he’s a phenomenal linguist. His art primarily revolves around intricate and stylized letterforms inspired by hieroglyphics, Arabic, and other writing systems worldwide. 

With impressive auction results, Retna is considered one of the highest-selling street artists currently working. You can buy Retna’s art for $750 to over $100,000.

19. Sophie Charalambous

Sophie Charalambous
Image Credit: Sophie Charalambous/Artsy.

Sophie Charalambous is a visual artist, designer, and painter based in London. She combines her love for watercolor with mono-printing. 

Charalambous has a unique experience in theatre design, as she plays with space, light, shadows, and scales in her artworks. She often creates pieces about Cyprus, including the island’s flora, fauna, folk art, ancient history, and festivals into personal landscapes. Sophie’s art starts at $2,500.

20. Jeff Koons

jeff koos
Image Credit: Zarateman, CC0/WikiCommons.

Jeff Koons is an American contemporary artist known for his eclectic neo-pop take on consumer objects, provocative artworks, and oversized sculptures of famous toys and souvenirs. 

Thanks to Koons’ meticulous craftsmanship, bold use of color, and larger-than-life scale in his art, he cemented his status as one of the most influential artists of his generation.

Jeff Koons made headlines with his “Michael Jackson and Bubbles” sculpture, the metallic “Rabbit” installation, and the massively-sized, orange “Balloon Dog,” which was sold for $58.4 million at Christie’s auction house in 2013. You can buy a Jeff Koons original for millions, but his prints average $11,000.

21. Clare Woods

clare woods
Image Credit: Atreearockacloud, CC BY-SA 4.0/WikiCommons.

Clare Woods is a British contemporary artist celebrated for her expressive paintings exploring themes of nature, memory, and the subconscious. Woods takes inspiration from the dynamic compositions and vibrant colors of nature and landscapes. She showcases her sculptor training with thick paint, giving rich textures to her paintings.

The Contemporary Art Society commissioned Woods to create a ceramic mural for the London 2012 Olympic Park. Woods’ art pieces are sold for around $400 to $18,000.

 

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