CULTURE & ARTS
02/28/2012 04:12 pm ET

Rise Art: New Art Rental Site Let's You Try Before You Buy (VIDEO)

For first time buyers, navigating the art world can often be a daunting and risky endeavor.

But now art lovers have a new way to hang original art in their homes, thanks to the internet platform Rise Art and their "try before you buy" art rental program.

For as little as £25 ($40) per month, members can choose from a wide selection artwork and rent it from the their computer. If a user later chooses to buy the piece, any rental fees paid up to that point are deducted from the total cost of the piece. Or, if they decide it's not for them, they can always send the piece back and choose something new.

So far, the platform offers prints, photographs and paintings from up-and-coming artists such as Chris Shaw Hughes, Pedro Guimaraes and Edd Pearman.

"Buying art can be an overwhelming commitment -- how can consumers be sure that the work they've seen on a website or in a gallery will look as good in their homes? " Scott Phillips, who co-founded Rise Art with ex-Googler Marcos Steverlynck, said in a press release. "We want to open up the art market and help rising artists extend their visibility. On the ownership side, it shouldn't only be accessible to the wealthy or the well-connected."

While the service is currently only available to U.K. residents, founder Scott Phillips told Wired the company plans to expand internationally in the coming months. Phillips added that Rise Art already has a network of more than 1,500 artists from more than 30 countries.

But Rise Art doesn't just break down the barriers for how art is experienced by amateur collectors, it also nurtures and supports new talent through networking via an online community and a group of independent curators, according to Art Review.

Of course, this isn't the first company to offer low cost art rentals. In March 2011, TIME magazine reported on a similar venture launched in New York called Artsicle.

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