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Statue mit geschlossenen Ohren

The art world is full of buzzwords. Let us help you through the bingo.


A person that re-sells an artwork after a very short time, usually at a profit.

Art flipping is not collecting and not good for an artist’s career. Art is a long-term investment. The earlier the artist is in their career, the longer the collector should hold the artwork. For toaa artists, we recommend a holding period of minimum 10 years.


Artworks created by artists born after 1975, a term coined by auction houses to highlight young artist talent.

While the art historic term “contemporary art” means art created in the second half of the 20th century or in the 21st century, ultra-contemporary art is a term invented by the art market in light of the huge trend to collect young artists. On toaa, we many artists are ultra-contemporary but there are also interesting older artists that make for a great portfolio addition.


Figurative works are works that represent real things, like human beings or objects. The opposite to figurative would be abstract.

Digital art

This term can encompass 1) a digitally produced reproduction of an artwork already existing in another form, for example a painting, 2) work produced to be viewed via digital means such as generative art or crypto art, and 3) work produced digitally, which results in a work existing outside of the computer – often in the form of giclée print, so that this digitally produced print can be considered to be an ‘original’. Digital art can also exist in the form of a photography file, a video file, or an audio file.


A local space that exhibits young or not (yet) established artists, usually in a non-commercial way.

Well-run and well-connected offspaces are usually a great first step in an artist’s exhibition career. They are often run by young curators or artists themselves. For collectors, offspaces are a great opportunity to discover potential new talents and their works, meet the local art scene and join cool parties.


An edition (also called multiple) is a predetermined number of prints at a specific size from a single image. An edition print should be of great quality and will be individually numbered (e.g 5/10), signed and dated, either on the print itself or on an accompanying certificate. Often an “Artist Proof” (AP) will exist separate to the edition and is usually the first or last to be printed.

An edition is a great addition to an art portfolio as it’s often much more affordable compared to unique works by the same artist. The higher the edition number, the lower the price for the print.


Kitsch was a term initially applied to art and culture considered to be in poor taste. More recently the term has more generally been associated with lowbrow taste or something that is purely decorative, specifically relating to the rise in mass consumer culture. Nowadays, artists employ the kitsch aesthetic in order to draw attention to the high/low brow divide, celebrating bad taste and nostalgia.

At toaa, we believe that every collector should make up their own mind of what is good and what is bad taste or decorative. There is no right or wrong, and good art is what you think is good art.

Mixed media

A term describing an artwork’s material when more than one material has been employed.

Three popular examples of mixed media works are collage or assemblage (a 3-dimensional collage). Many sculptures and installations are also mixed media. Typical materials in mixed media are paint, paper, wood, cloth, or found objects. The first modern artwork to be considered mixed media is Pablo Picasso’s 2012 collage “Still Life with Chair Caning”.

Emerging artist

An emerging artist is someone at the start of their career, who is just starting to get some attention. The opposite of an emerging artist, an established artist is one who is relatively well known in their field, having worked for a substantial period of time and produced a significant body of work. A further term is mid-career artist, that is in-between emerging and established.

On toaa, you will find insights on the maturity of each artist. This helps you to better understand where in their career the artist stands. Established artists are often more expensive than emerging ones.


Shorthand for ‘non-fungible token’, an NFT is a digital token that states that you are the owner of a digital work – a piece of art, a piece of music or even a tweet! The NFT is like a digital certificate of authenticity.

About 5% of all NFTs out there represent art, mainly digital art.

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