Wall art's a must have, but the suspicion that you're being bamboozled by gallery owners is enough to make a man give up and just buy those Beaux-Arts corbels from Restoration Hardware. At least then you know you're getting ripped off.
Edify yourself, patron-to-be, and buy at insider prices, at Artspace.
[callout] ... a) educate you on the art market, b) sell you gorgeous fine art [/callout]
Framed up by the founder of seminal artist foundation Artadia, Artspace is curated by major museums (Berkeley Art Museum, the Musee d'Art Moderne, etc.), and its mission is two-fold: educate members on fine art, and sell paintings, sculptures and photos from up-and-coming artists, and those who have already upped and came.
To search for what could be the next Damien Hirst (or an actual Damien Hirst), simply slice-and-dice the site via the filters (small paintings under $250, large photographs over $5,000, etc.), or click tagged artwork to see similar subjects, like geometric, animals, and death.
Recommended discoveries: the eye-popping anime stylings of Takashi Murakami, David Levinthal's vintage doll photos and glamtastic concert pics (Iggy Pop, Freddy Mercury, others) by noted rock photog Mick Rock.