We know, we know. You get so many compliments on the driftwood cat sculpture that’s been hanging over your bed—but perhaps it’s time for a little change in your home decor? Or rather, some fresh company for Mr. Mittens and his seaweed paws? Bringing new artwork into the fold can help re-zhuzh your home’s energy, and while we may indulge in some questionable impulse purchases from time to time, we never regret splurging on the artwork that immediately catches our eye. We’re always looking for cool, affordable wall art for the foyer—which is another way to say “that spot by the shoe rack”—and in honor of Black History Month, we’re rounding up some of our favorite places to shop for pieces by Black artists, not just now, but all the time.
Your home decor doesn’t have to feel like a permanent installation, but rather a rotation of unique prints, posters, and ethereal objects that mean something special, whether you have a more modest budget for some gorgeous hand-poured candles, or you’re ready to divest all your Bitcoin and spend it on a museum-quality tapestry from the legendary Gee’s Bend quilters of Boykin, Alabama. When it comes to buying art online, you sometimes have to dig to find pieces that don’t feel like a Pinterest cliché, but rest assured—for every soulless, stock image canvas print of “zen” rocks, there’s an artist with real heart making macramé wall art to sweep you off your feet.
Whether you have a budget of $10 or $1,000, here are some of our favorite platforms for buying Black art during Black History Month—and beyond.
One of the largest online databases of art, artists, and galleries, Artsy features the work of thousands of Black artists, and includes helpful articles about emerging Black artists and how to responsibly collect Black art. It mostly features well-established artists who actively exhibit their work, so expect very beautiful things, and lots of original paintings and sculptures—but prices to match.
Black Owned Everything
Black Owned Everything is filled with everything we never knew we needed, and quite a few things that we drool over in our browser for ages (buy us these mod boots?), including apparel, home decor, and more. The ethos of the unique platform is to create a space dedicated to Black-owned brands and artists by featuring an ever-evolving selection of their creations, which means that you can find a geometric, amethyst planter for your Hot Crystal Girlfriend one day, and a Picasso-esque, terracotta face sculpture the next.
Black Owned Everything is a Black-owned business selected as part of Black+, an initiative by VICE Media Group and The National Urban League to support Black Entrepreneurs with free marketing and mentorship opportunities.
As the marketplace of the rad non-profit arts organization BlkArthouse, BLKMKT’s collections feature original artworks, photography, prints, and more from the emerging Black artists supported by the organization. “Unlike other marketplaces,” explains its team, “the majority of sales on the BLKMKT goes directly to the artist.” The commission that is made by BlkArthouse also goes right back into supporting Black artists through “educational seminars, digital marketing, and art-based opportunities.” The curation and variety of mediums are truly *chef’s kiss* and there are price points for everyone, with prints starting at around $20, and other pieces, such as a hand-felted “painting” by Niki Dionne, that are definitely worth saving up for.
Do you think Etsy ever gets tired, carrying the weight of the internet’s most interesting stuff on its shoulders? From Steve Buscemi candles to full suits of medieval armor, you could browse the marketplace forever and still find something new to razzle your dazzle. They have entire sections dedicated to Black-owned shops and Black artists, including beautiful minimalist prints, ethereal fiber tapestries, and much more.
Etsy is also home to an incredible spotlight on the Black women quilters of Gee’s Bend, Alabama, who have been hand-crafting tapestries and quilts together since the 1800s. “[The] women of the Bend have passed down an indigenous style of quilting geometric patterns,” The New York Times reported, “out of old britches, cornmeal sacks, Sears corduroy swatches and hand-me-down leisure suits—whatever happened to be around.” The results are pieces with amazing warmth and history. These one-of-a-kind quilts will go fast, so take them home before the Smithsonian does.
Goodee is another one of our favorite Black-owned shopping platforms, and similarly to Black Owned Everything, the team curates a constant rotation of home goods, furniture, and decor that will have you drooling over something new every time you visit the website—and that includes art. The current collection of sculptural skateboard art by The Skateroom brings a unique canvas to the works of Jean-Michel Basquiat, and “a portion of the proceeds go to support social projects empowering youth and children in marginalized areas.”
Minted, which makes art prints, stationary, and custom-printed gifts and home decor, has a dedicated section of its site for the work of Black artists specifically, and it features a variety of fine and modern art, photography, and more. Two of our faves include "Little Town," a limited edition composite photo print by Nairobi-based artist David Michuki, and "Poppy Joy," a linocut-inspired print from Minneapolis artist Angel Walker's Textured Ground collection.
Redbubble is also showcasing the work of Black artists that you can purchase as prints or have emblazoned on a huge variety of products, from shirts and laptop sleeves to mugs and tapestries. We like this peaceful illustration by Segunphillips, or this very #mood piece by Mary Joak.
In honor of Black History Month, Society6 has curated works by Black artists including Lo Harris, whose color-blocked graphics will brighten up any space; and Obinna Obioma who takes gorgeous, ethereal photographs, plus so many other rad artists whose designs are often available in multiple formats, including prints, iPhone cases, tote bags, and more. “Every purchase pays the artists who designed it,” explains the team at Society6 about the initiative. “Plus, for the month of February, 50% of the profit[s] will go to support Little Black Pearl—an arts non-profit committed to serving and inspiring the urban youth of Chicago.”
Do you remember what it was like to step into the Discovery Store as a kid? Uncommon Goods is like that, but for adults. The marketplace brings together the innovative works of designers, chefs, jewelers, and folks from all around the world to highlight only the most [drumroll] ~uncommon~ of goods. The brand is celebrating Black History Month with a Shop Black Makers feature that celebrates Black creators, and you can find everything from hand-poured candles to colorful, paper maché bowls.
See? That statement shelf is looking better already.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.