Art prints: The (relatively) inexpensive way to start an art collection

Given the current economy, most people probably aren't thinking about buying art. However, as savvy investors often point out, going against the prevailing current can be quite profitable. Besides, President Bush has told us that we are supposed to pour our tax refund checks back into the economy. Buying art is a great way to do just that--after all, you buy the art and the artist spends the money on booze, drugs and cheese. This, in turn, makes it possible for the breweries, distilleries, dairies and drug dealers to hire more employees, leading to economic recovery and a bright, shiny future. Best of all, you end up with a beautiful piece of art to hang on your wall!

If you've looked at art prices recently, you've probably noticed that most art pieces are really, really expensive. Unless you plan on visiting one of those "starving artists" shows that feature a lot of boring, uninspired landscapes, you're probably going to pay at least a few thousand dollars for a decent painting, and the prices go up quickly when you start looking at work by well-known and well-regarded artists. On the other hand, artists' prints tend to be an outstanding value. They cost a fraction of the price of paintings while offering a good investment opportunity.