Quick and affordable online appraisals of Contemporary Art

Communicate directly with a qualified Contemporary Art specialist and get a fair market valuation of your item, typically in 48 hours or less.

Quick and affordable online appraisals of Contemporary Art

Communicate directly with a qualified Contemporary Art specialist and get a fair market valuation of your item, typically in 48 hours or less.

How much is my contemporary art worth?

Have you recently purchased or created a work of contemporary art and want to know its value? Mearto provides quick and affordable online appraisals of contemporary art. All you have to do is click on the “Start Appraisal” button above and follow the steps to send us information about and images of your contemporary art. One of our qualified and experienced specialists will review and get back to you with a fair market and insurance value, typically within 48 hours.

Have questions about the valuation provided, or would you like some advice about selling your contemporary art? We are here to help! Our platform allows you to chat back and forth with a specialist to ensure that all of your questions are answered. 

What is contemporary art?

From an art history perspective, the term "contemporary" refers to artworks that have been created within the context of the artist's lifetime or in recent decades. While there isn't a fixed timeline that precisely defines when an artwork transitions from being contemporary to historical or modern, a commonly accepted guideline is that contemporary art encompasses works created from the mid-20th century to the present day.

The use of the term "contemporary" is relative to the time in which it is being used. As time passes, what was once considered contemporary art becomes part of art history. For example, works created in the 1960s, which were once considered contemporary, are now regarded as historical within the broader framework of art history. Therefore, the definition of contemporary art continually shifts and evolves as new generations of artists emerge and create within their own contemporary contexts.

It's important to note that the term "contemporary art" is not synonymous with "modern art." Modern art refers specifically to the art movements and styles that emerged during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, such as Impressionism, Cubism, and Surrealism. While contemporary art may incorporate elements or influences from modern art, it represents a broader and more fluid category that encompasses a wide range of artistic practices and expressions in the present time.

What are the different media used to create contemporary art?

One of the distinctive aspects of contemporary art is its focus on experimentation and innovation. Artists working in this realm constantly seek new ways to express their ideas, utilizing a broad range of materials, techniques, and technologies. From traditional mediums such as painting, sculpture and photography to digital art, installations, performance art and mixed media, contemporary artists explore numerous avenues to convey their concepts and emotions.

Who are some of the most well-known contemporary artists?

  1. Known for his anonymous street art and politically charged stencil work, Banksy has gained international recognition for his thought-provoking and often subversive artworks.

  2. A Chinese artist and activist, Ai Weiwei is renowned for his installations, sculptures, and social commentary. His works often address issues of human rights, freedom of expression and government oppression.

  3. A Japanese artist known for her immersive installations and vibrant polka dot motifs, Yayoi Kusama has become a prominent figure in contemporary art. Her work explores themes of infinity, self-obliteration and exploration of the subconscious.

  4. Considered one of the most commercially successful contemporary artists, Jeff Koons creates large-scale sculptures that often incorporate popular culture references and reflect consumerism and mass media.

  5. Renowned for her self-portraits in which she assumes various roles and personas, Cindy Sherman challenges notions of identity, gender and representation in her photography.

  6. A British artist known for his provocative and often controversial artworks, Damien Hirst gained prominence in the 1990s as part of the Young British Artists (YBAs) movement. He is recognized for his installations, sculptures and the iconic diamond-encrusted skull titled "For the Love of God."

  7. A performance artist known for her endurance-based and often physically demanding works, Marina Abramović explores the limits of the human body and the relationship between artist and audience.

  8. Danish-Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson creates immersive installations that engage with light, space, and natural phenomena, encouraging viewers to interact and experience art in new and unexpected ways.

How are contemporary artworks by established artists valued?

The reputation and track record of the artist in question plays a crucial role in determining the value of their artworks. Artists with established careers, extensive exhibition history, critical recognition and international visibility typically command higher prices in the art market. Works that introduce new techniques, concepts or challenge traditional notions of art tend to attract attention and appreciation.

Of course, the demand for an artist's work influences its value. If there is a high demand for a particular artist, collectors and art enthusiasts may compete to acquire their artworks, driving up prices. Factors that contribute to demand include art world trends, collector preferences and the artist's relevance in contemporary discourse. Additionally, if an artist produces a limited number of artworks or if a particular series or style is rare, it can increase the desirability and value of those pieces.

Finally, representation by reputable galleries, participation in prestigious exhibitions and inclusion in museum collections can enhance an artist's reputation and, consequently, the value of their artworks.

How are contemporary artworks by new or up-and-coming artists valued?

Determining the value of work by a new contemporary artist can be challenging, as it involves a combination of subjective and objective factors. The first consideration is typically the overall artistic quality and originality of an artist's work. Assessing the technical skill, conceptual depth and perspective can provide some insight.

An artist's exhibition history, particularly participation in juried shows, group exhibitions or solo shows in respected galleries, can lend credibility to a new contemporary artist. Positive reviews and recognition from reputable sources, as well as acquisition by established collectors, prominent art institutions or museums, can also positively impact the perceived value of the artist's work.

Identifying emerging themes, styles, and preferences within the art market can help assess how an artist's work aligns with these trends and whether there is growing demand for their type of art, and finally, observing an artist's artistic development and progression over time can provide clues about their future potential. Artists who demonstrate growth, are willing to experiment and take risks and show an ability to evolve their practice may be more likely to gain recognition.


Lindsey Bourret is the Managing Director at Mearto. In addition to overseeing the daily operations of the business, she also enjoys sharing her extensive knowledge of the fine art and antiques market with our customers through our website, blog, e-newsletter and social media accounts.

Examples of online appraisals

Rebecca Bust / Sculpture

Est. $3000 - $7000

Pink Mid-Century Venetian Glass Bottles with Stoppers

Est. $800 - $1,200

Vintage Pink Cameo Ring

Est. $3000 - $7000

Pierre Bonnard Lithograph

Est. $50 - $200

Antique French Clock

Est. $4,500 - $5,500

Oil On Canvas By Maqbool Fida Hussein

Est. $140,000 - $150,000

We evaluate items from 50+ categories.

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