If you’ve dreamed of starting your very own art collection but worry that it’ll cost you a fortune, consider these alternative markets across Paris. Transform your home or office with unique works and liven up your space without emptying your wallet.
Fashioned after an open-air farmers market, Marché de la Création has been connecting local artists with the public since 1994. Not just anyone can set up shop, so expect to see quality originals alongside a small selection of limited edition prints as well. The stalls host a variety of artists from painters, sculptors, and potters, to mixed media and textile artists. This market is a particularly ideal way to shop for affordable art, as you will be getting prices straight from the artists studio, thus cutting out the additional gallery commission. Plus, the artists themselves are required to be present at the stalls so you will be getting ample face time with the creators and designers behind the work. Hosted in the shadow of the Montparnasse Tower, the causal and eclectic atmosphere is hard to beat.
Walking into 59 Rivoli is an experience unlike any other. Founded in 1999, the building is a haven for international artists who want to live and create in the center of Paris. With five floors open to the public, each apartment hosts three or more artists alongside their works. The residents change on a random basis so there are always a variety of mediums available, from textile artists, sculptors, painters, and mixed media. Even the building itself is a work of art, with the walls covered in graffiti and personal touches left by past artists. Be sure to take your time to visit every floor as each offers something totally different from the next. Small prints can start at 10-15€ per piece and large originals can cost upwards of several hundred. Regardless, it’s a phenomenal way to support nomadic and local artists while ensuring you’re getting original art unlike anything else. Entry is by donation and helps keep the institution alive.
After a passionate encounter with a New York street vendor selling vintage photo prints, Stefanie Harig and Marc Ullrich founded LUMAS. Their mission was to create a space where people could gather to experience and acquire fine art photography for a reasonable price. With two locations in Paris and many others around the world, LUMAS is a gateway into the perspectives of new and established photo artists. LUMAS has created a successful marriage between quality and price by producing between 75 to 150 prints per piece instead of one-offs often found at other galleries. You can also purchase online from their entire portfolio. All pieces include original artist signatures.
Dedicated to the democratization of art, these galleries are set up throughout the city of Paris, and in 33 countries around the world, connecting contemporary artists to true art lovers. Representing 600 artists, Carré d’artistes believes contemporary art should be accessible to more than just the elite, and that painters from any background with any methodology should be able to show in a gallery setting. By catering specifically to visual art, the organization’s concept operates on a price formula based on size. Be sure to check out their website to scroll through all 600 artists and 4000 works from around the world.