Your Guide to Buying Filipino Contemporary Art Online

In recent years, people have been making more and more of their purchases online due to the growth of digital channels. When it comes to art, like other vendors, galleries have shifted to the internet, making it possible to browse and purchase artworks from around the world with ease and accessibility. In the Philippines, consumers have already caught the online shopping bug. While some Filipinos might be wary to purchase artworks online, digital platforms have certainly made it a very viable option.

It starts with finding a reputable online art gallery that will connect you with the best of Filipino contemporary art from emerging and established artists. It also helps to ask around---could be friends who know the Filipino art scene or who are connected to artists and gallerists. Here’s a guide to ensure that your buying and collecting art online is a seamless and rewarding experience.


When looking for and buying art online, no less than a trusted and reliable platform selling legitimate works of art will do. Let's start with some essentials that guarantee a positive browsing and buying experience with an online gallery. Preparing oneself in this way will not only protect you from scammers but keep one from hasty regrettable art purchases.


Do your research

Research is an essential practice for buyers in digital marketplaces. It's no different for today's art world with the rise of online art galleries that act as intermediaries between artists, buyers, and even other galleries. When browsing artworks online or transacting with an online art gallery, it's crucial to know you’re dealing with a genuine source for art.

One way is to go through the site and look for positive customer reviews and testimonials. Another way is finding out about the works and the artists on the site. Look for specially curated online collections and exhibitions of carefully selected contemporary artists. For instance at Vintana, all the artists have profiles with biographical information, including details of their artist practices and careers. You may also want to pay attention to their solo and group exhibitions, awards, and prizes or if their work is in collections, museum or private. This way you know you’re looking at promising, emerging, or established artists.

Look for a certificate of authenticity

Any reliable online art gallery should provide a certificate of authenticity (COA) for every artwork sold. It's an essential document for any art buyer that helps them determine and validate the artwork's artist, its date of creation, and other provenance details. If verified by a COA, one can be sure that a particular artwork was indeed made by a particular artist. In turn, it proves the artwork's value and is indispensable in the resale of that piece.

Make only secure payments

Purchasing items online has never been easier. However, one still has to make certain that payments are not only convenient but protected. Buying art online via credit or debit card or via Paypal are today's most trusted and secure options. We have these options at Vintana, while ensuring that customer financial details, such as credit card numbers, are protected with SSL technology.

Accept only high-resolution images

For online art galleries, images of the highest quality and the best resolution are essential in allowing visitors to inspect and appreciate artworks. Photographs of this quality will even allow you to understand the different material characteristics of the artwork and assess its condition.


When searching for an artwork, it's a common misconception that collectors know exactly what they are looking for in the beginning, whether that's a particular artist, style, or artwork. Many collectors enjoy the discovery journey and find great satisfaction at falling-in-love with an artist or artwork that's new to them.

For those new to buying art, it still helps to narrow the search down to some parameters but in ways that don't take away from making surprise discoveries. Consider focusing on a particular theme. For instance, the works of one of Vintana's artists, Ramon Zulueta, are quite unique in that they are inspired by the very fashionable Mod subculture. You can also narrow down your search to a set budget or artwork size. An excellent online gallery can present you with a customized selection of artworks from search options that do just that.

The main thing to look for is a strong response to the artwork. From there, buyers want to learn more about the artist, to understand their artistic journey. This means more than knowing what art school they studied in. Learn about the ideas and processes that went into making the artwork. Find out what inspires the artist. You may discover an affinity that draws you even closer. Knowing the depth and value of artwork takes more than a single look. Learning more about it and knowing the artist's background, development, and ideas is the only way to really fall-in-love with a piece.

Artworks in an online gallery should have item descriptions. It’s crucial to read and understand these descriptions to know more about a unique work of art and to enjoy it. At Vintana, we call item descriptions, 'Notes on Provenance.' You'll find details such as the size, material, and the year it was produced. These details help buyers learn more about the specific components of the artwork that influence its price and value.

Lastly, take into consideration where you plan to display the artwork you’re eyeing. Paying attention to visual qualities such as color and texture that may complement that space. Knowing the dimensions and the size of the piece is another crucial step in visualizing how it will fit. Qualified online art galleries will provide high quality photos that allow you to zoom into the details and item descriptions to that end. But not only that, these sites also provide a “view in room” feature that gives a preview of the work in a living room, bedroom, office, and similar. Similar to that is an augmented reality (AR) feature that allows you to preview the artwork in your own space. Buying art online isn’t new to Filipinos. Whether you’re in the Philippines or living abroad, if you do it right, your art-viewing hobby could turn out just as enjoyable as your first art purchase online.

Vintana has exhibitions of contemporary art complete with the information one needs for enjoyable browsing experience. Visit them here.

Images: Tiangge by Vicente Manansala, Mutual Art