It’s human nature to focus on the most profitable and successful activities, and the same applies in the art world. Although not everyone’s goal is to make money off their art, many people are curious to discover which forms of art are the most valuable and what kind of artists are the most successful.
The potential to earn money through art is also very enticing to creative people looking to make a living from their work. So what type of art makes the most money?
1. High Value Paintings
The most expensive paintings on the market are the ones that fetch the highest prices and, naturally, the highest return for the artist or the collector. Paintings by established, world-famous artists, such as Claude Monet, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, and Paul Klee, have been auctioned off for small fortunes. For example, the most expensive painting ever sold at auction is Klimt’s “The Kiss”, which sold for $185 million in May 201
It is not just the established painters whose works command high prices. Recent auction records show the increasing popularity and rising value of paintings by emerging artists, like the South Korean painter Lee Hyun-sook, who sold her painting “Flower Gathering” at Sothby’s in 2017 for
2 million US Dollars.
In terms of sculptures, one of the most expensive on record was “The Dead King”, a marble sculpture made by the Italian artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the 17th century. The sculpture sold for an incredible $20 million dollars in 201
Less expensive but still highly sought after are the sculptures of the last few decades. For example, the number one most popular sculpture at the time of this writing is Jeff Koons’ “Gazing Ball” which is still selling for around $2 million dollars a piece. Overall, sculptures by established artists tend to fetch the highest prices, but the sculptures of up and coming artists sometimes also are heavily sought after pieces of artwork and therefore command high prices.
The field of photography has become ever more popular over the past few years and the amount of money one can make with a photograph has also increased dramatically. Not only are the established photographers selling prints of their art for hundreds of thousands of dollars, the digital age has also enabled photographers to make money through different outlets such as microstock and stock photography. Among the most expensive photographs ever sold are “Rhein II” by Andreas Gursky and Cindy Sherman’s “Untitled #96”.
Both photographers were able to fetch millions of dollars for one single picture.
Jewelry is one of the most valuable products in the art world and there is no shortage of high-end and expensive jewelry pieces. At the top of the list is David Webb’s “Winston Necklace” which sold for 1
7 million dollars at Christie’s in 201 Generally speaking, there are two main types of jewelry that are the most sought after and therefore fetch the highest prices: antique jewelry and jewelry made by established designers. Antique jewelry is highly sought after due to its rarity and unique characteristics and designers are capable of making high-end and expensive jewelry pieces that are truly distinctive and one of a kind.
The market for limited edition art prints has been on the rise for a few years now and top notch prints can fetch surprisingly high prices. In general, the prints of renowned artists are estimated to go for hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars, depending on the size, edition and overall quality.
An important factor that drives the prices of a print upwards is the number of prints in the edition – the lower the number of prints that are made from the same artwork, the more valuable it is. Consequently, prints from editions of fewer than 50 are more likely to fetch higher prices than editions of more than 200.
6. Ceramics & Glass
Ceramics, pottery, glass and other types of art made out of clay or glass can also be quite valuable. The biggest reason why ceramics and glass fetch high prices is their rarity. It is not uncommon to find unique and one of a kind pieces that are made by artisan craftsmen whose skills cannot be replicated.
Pieces by highly acclaimed artists, such as Dale Chihuly’s glass sculptures, can fetch up to 250. 000 dollars.
Furniture is another type of art that can be highly valuable. High-end antiques and designer furniture can sell for thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars. Some of the most expensive pieces of furniture sold at auctions are the works of French designer Ruhlmann, who was active in the early twentieth century.
His pieces often have an art deco aesthetic and can be seen as a fusion between furniture and artwork.
Antiques are often seen as investment pieces and can be surprisingly valuable. They can be seen as a form of art in their own right and pieces that have a unique design, material or craftsmanship can fetch astounding amounts. Antiques of all kinds, from paintings to pottery, can sell for millions of dollars.
9. Digital Art
Digital art is a fairly new phenomenon that has been gaining popularity in the art world over the past decade or so. This type of art is often created with the help of computer software and the artwork is in a digital format. It can be printed on canvas or paper but is usually sold in a digital form and the artist will license the artwork for a specific use or for a certain period of time.
Digital art has a broad appeal and often fetches high prices. Pieces created using different digital techniques and by established digital artists can sell for thousands of dollars.
10. Animation Art
Animation art has been growing in popularity over the past couple of decades, especially with the increased use of digital media and computer-generated imagery. This type of artwork is often used in feature films, television shows and video games, but it can also be seen as original artwork.
Animation art can be highly valuable, especially when it is created by established artists and is licensed by popular companies. For example, a concept art drawing of a character from a major animated film can be sold for thousands of dollars.
Textiles such as rugs, tapestries and other woven items can also be worth a lot of money. These pieces often depicted scenes of everyday life in their original forms and were woven in silk, wool or cotton. Originals can fetch high prices, depending on their size, quality, color and condition.
Handwoven textiles can sell for thousands of dollars, with larger and higher quality pieces going for even higher prices.
12. Comic Art
Artwork from comics, both original and reprinted, can also be very valuable. The artwork is often sought after by fans of the series or by people who simply appreciate the artwork itself.
Original comic art can sell for thousands of dollars, depending on the popularity of the series, the artist and the condition of the artwork. Original comic art from established series and artists can often reach prices close to those of high-end photography or paintings.
13. Tribal & ABORIGINAL Art
Tribal and Indigenous artwork is gaining recognition and appreciation in the art world and it can be extremely valuable. These pieces often depict traditional symbols and stories and therefore tell us a lot about a culture or a period of time. There is a huge variety of this type of artwork, ranging from decorations to sculptures and clothing, and these pieces can be extremely valuable.
Pieces by renowned artists and from established tribes can reach prices in the thousands. ConclusionIt is clear from this article that the type of art that makes the most money varies depending on the type and quality of the work, as well as the size of the edition or how rare the piece is.
High-end paintings, sculptures, photography and jewelry are generally among some of the most expensive types of art. Digital art, animation art, textiles, comics and tribal and Indigenous art, while slightly less expensive, can also be considered valuable. The most valuable thing a collector, investor or artist can possess is knowledge and understanding of the art market.
Knowing what type of art is most sought after, and how to identify quality pieces, is a great way to ensure that you make the right decision when it comes to buying or selling valuable art.