At a point in our not-to-distant past, the term ‘unique art’ stood as a redundancy. What was art, if not a one-of-a-kind creation? From paintings to sculpture to photography, artists created unique pieces, viewed and bought by others. But today, in a world of prints, copies, and copycats, it’s harder to find art that is truly unique. Now, don’t get us wrong, re-printing provides an amazing opportunity for the famous works of historical artists to be viewed in homes around the world. But when you’re looking for something new, a piece your guests have never seen before, it makes your job a little harder.
Unique art prints come from a variety of places. You may be looking for a print by a mostly-unknown artist, or a lesser-known work of an artist you have admired your whole life. We picked out our favorite rare, strange, and unknown pieces to showcase to you in this post… and we encourage you to dig for others we didn’t even think of!
The Unique Ascent of the Blessed
The featured photo in this post is a piece of a piece that would have only been seen by a few if it hadn’t been reproduced. It’s called The Ascent of the Blessed, and it’s one small detail from one single panel of an altarpiece many thnk depicts The Last Judgement. The painter’s name is Hieronymus Bosch, a 15th-century artist who used oil on panels to create his work.
The mystery surrounding Bosch and his work adds to the mystique of this piece. Bosch was born Jheronimus van Aken in the Netherlands. His work often portrays religious concepts with a touch of fantasy. Little is known about Bosch’s life itself, but historians say that he was born in his grandfather’s house. His adopted last name is derivative of DenBosch, or a phrase meaning “of the forest.” Hieronymous-Of-The-Forest left behind no letters or diaries, so all we know about him, we learn from viewing his fantastical work.
Looking for something less ancient, more animated? We love Reclining Salad by Greg Brown. This piece is just subtle enough and just weird enough to be a perfect addition to your kitchen decor. And if you like the idea of Reclining Salad but you find it a little too sensual, this isn’t the only veggie-based art by Greg Brown. Greg painted a portfolio full of vegetables having fun, from the Salad Bar to Club Veg to Party Dip to two intimately dancing bananas (though you can skip that one if you’re trying to veer away from the sensual side of Brown’s art.)
Brown’s unique art takes everyday items and gives them life and character in a way that few artists have.
Another View of the Eiffel Tower
Let’s face it: pretty much everyone has seen a depiction of the Eiffel Tower at some point in their lives, even if they have never been to France. But this unique photo of the tower may cause your guests to do a double-take. As it turns out, from below, the Eiffel Tower boasts a symmetrical, geometric pattern that may be just as pleasing as the traditional view… if not more so.
Not Your Typical Goya
Francisco Jose de Goya y Lucientes (or Francisco Goya, for short) was a unique artist with a unique life. Born in Spain in the mid-1700s, he was a printing master and won painting competitions for his colorful depictions of historical and Biblical scenes. And then… there’s ‘Of what ill will he die?’
This black and white etching stands in stark contrast to Goya’s art, and is part of a collection of satirical sketches. Many in this collection depict donkeys, humanized, performing activities like teaching or practicing medicine. This particular plate depicts a donkey-physician taking the pulse of a dying patient. If you’re looking for unique art, you just found it.
It’s weird. It’s different. it’s crazy.
It’s unique. Even in an age of prints and reprints, you can still find unique art that your guests are sure to remember.