Amazon has become our corner store, our outlet mall, and now, with their purchase of Whole Foods, our supermarket. With 100 million Amazon Prime members about to fork out an extra $20 a year for the privilege of even faster, cheaper deliveries (along with a slew of other Prime perks), it seems that we’re willing to spend a little extra cash for the sake of convenience.
But can it become an art gallery as well?
Consumers are becoming more comfortable with the idea of buying art online. Urban Outfitters can replace the band posters tacked to your walls with glow-in-the-dark tigers and portraits of Kramer. West Elm can provide you with beautiful minimalist wall hangings and hand-painted abstract canvases. And many a sterile Airbnb home has been hastily decorated with IKEA art featuring vintage cars and New York skylines.
Amazon wants in on the action. Its fine-art section allows you to add an original Andy Warhol to your shopping cart along with your toilet-paper restock. You can browse through a variety of works, from pastel drawings to lithographs by style, color, subject matter, size, and price. Galleries and artists can sell directly to the public, and if you’re not sure where to start, there are even hand-curated lists to flick through selected by Amazon art curators.
Amazon’s art sales could dramatically lower the barrier to entry of curious art buyers. Online marketplaces such as Artsy and Saatchi Art can be intimidating to the casual peruser, and flicking through mid-range prints on Amazon can feel much more accessible. Sure, the average buyer might not be dropping $220k on a Dieter Blum photograph, but $195 on a watercolor landscape is much more reasonable.
Here is a list of some of the oddest and most unexpected pieces of art you can buy on Amazon. Let the bidding begin.
“Girl With a Balloon,” Bansky: $135,000
There are only 150 signed screenprints of “Girl With a Balloon,” one of Banksy’s most iconic images. Prints have been selling for upward of £60,000 (USD$80,000) since 2015—which makes the work’s price tag on Amazon a little steep. (The same image on canvas, which is a much rarer find, went for £344,750 earlier in the year.) Guess that’s what you get for the convenience of $4.99 shipping?
“Vladimir Putin. Spring,” Anatoly Silov: $109,000
Because who doesn’t want a portrait of Putin surrounded by an assortment of zoo animals? The description reads:
“Portrait “Vladimir Putin. Spring” – an allegorical, deeply philosophical and most unique artwork, symbolizing the enduring friendship and openness of Russia to the rest of the countries of the world, embodied by Russian President Vladimir Putin, depicted with democratic clothes, emphasizing his proximity to the people. Countries on this artwork depicted as various animals and birds. For example, the United States—as fair-haired eagle, Germany—as a panther, United Kingdom—as the form of a pair of vultures, China—as the form of a tiger, the Baltic countries—as the form of rodents, etc. This picture is the unrivaled gift to influential political, business and social leaders.”
And good news—it’s only an extra $16.49 in shipping.
“The Madonna and Child Being Crowned by Two Angels,” Alesso Gozzoli, son of Benozzo Gozzoli: $240,000
Oh—that Gozzoli! This fresco from the 1500s is a “collectible—like new,” which we guess means that you can’t return it if it has a little wear and tear.
“Still Life with Squash, Melon, Pears, Figs, Peaches, Grapes and Figs,” Giuseppe Ruoppolo: $315,000
The most expensive artwork we could find for purchase, this Neapolitan baroque painting might be more appealing for an impulse buy if the image uploaded wasn’t lo-res.
“Balloon Dog Blue,” Jeff Koons: $25,000
Now you too can be the owner of a shiny piece of neo-pop art! In case you can’t make up your mind, this cast porcelain hangable sculpture comes in three colors: red, blue, and yellow. One reviewer weighs in with their opinion: “I personally like Balloon Dog Blue more. I feel it transcends my inner nature of cheese its to a extra planer node of unreasoning due to the color of the sky on the summers solstice on a leap year. But Reds not so bad.”
“Jacqueline au Bandeau,” Pablo Picasso: $125,000
Yes, really—there’s an original Picasso “in stock”. And the best part is that it’s Prime eligible, which means free shipping for you! (And if that’s a little out of your price range, you can pick up a drawing study for “Guernica” for $2,600 or a colorful print for $950.)
“Ribonolactone,” Damien Hirst: $8,200
It’s not a shark floating in a tub of formaldehyde, but for $8,200 (plus $4.49 shipping), this Hirst woodcut is a steal (just like he steals ideas from other artists). One customer comments that “in addition to making an intricate accent to your living room it comes very handy when teaching colors to your 2 year old!”
“Dance of Spring,” Alexander Maranov: $178,000
This piece merits inclusion for its description alone:
“Alexander Maranov interesting for its unique artistic personality—bright, memorable and mature. Considering the work of art as a living, moving, multi-level structure, one can say, first, the external form of the works of Alexander Maranov: without exaggeration—the color—light extravaganza is the flow of light and color, is dumped on the audience a bit, so to speak, deafening properties. Light—is life of the color. Color fulfilling lives here, pulsating life, kinda—vibrations of light and color. Also unique and inner form—the content side of the artist. The main term personality Alexander’s dominant feature is a romantic order .”
We’d almost be sold if it weren’t for the fact that it’s not eligible for Amazon Prime.
“Bacardi Bottle,” John Kilduff: $545
An affordable addition to any man cave. It even already comes painted pre-blurry. $545
“Mentos and Tic Tacs Huge Original Oil Painting by World Renowned Photorealist Mark Schiff Ideal for Man Cave Wall Decor for Family Room or Den,” Mark Schiff: $2,200
We don’t even know where to start.