These Three Artists Made it to the TIME 100 List for 2018

April 19, 2018

Released every year, TIME 100 is a list of the 100 most influential people in the world, put together by the American news magazine Time. Established in 1999, it recognizes individuals who have changed the world in some way, be it good or bad, so it isn’t necessarily an honor to be on it.

But for these three contemporary, visual artists, it certainly is. The 2018 Time 100 list has just been released, and appropriately in the “Artists” section, we find Kehinde Wiley, JR and Judy Chicago, alongside famous actors and musicians belonging there as well.

Their introductions were made by LL Cool J, Laurene Powell Jobs and Jill Soloway respectively, and let’s see how they justified their presence on this year’s list.

The 2018 TIME 100 List in One Minute

The 2018 TIME 100 - Kehinde Wiley

Surely one of the main reasons Kehinde Wiley is on the 2018 TIME 100 list is his portrait of Barack Obama - now on view at the Smithsonian, whose unveiling caught a lot of attention.

But even before all that fame, this artist was famous in the contemporary arts circles for his bold, robust representation of the African-American culture, putting persons from hip hop culture in Renaissance poses against colorful, patterned backgrounds.

LL Cool J, a Grammy-winning musician, comments:

Kehinde has an MFA from Yale, but instead of using his art to assimilate into mainstream society, he goes minorstream, creating major works that outpace that of the majority of his contemporaries. When you see a Kehinde Wiley painting, you recognize it. He has created a visual brand that remains artistically fresh.

The 2018 TIME 100 - Kehinde Wiley

The 2018 TIME 100 - JR

Faces Places is one of the titles you will find among this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Documentary Feature. The movie celebrates the dignity of France’s forgotten rural villages, and is starring the 89-year-old Belgian filmmaker Agnès Varda, and JR, the second artist on the 2018 TIME 100 list.

This, of course, is one of the latest projects created by this talented artist, who rose to fame in 2005 with his huge paste-ups of “regular” people installed in the rich districts of Paris. From then on, JR went on to conquer the world, with installations like Inside Out/Dreamers, which toured the US.

Laurene Powell Jobs, who founded the Emerson Collective, partnered with JR for this occasion.

The project inspired so much participation that we decided to do it again last year, allowing “Dreamers” and their communities to show their support for the Dream Act in a beautiful and power­ful way. The legislation has stalled, but the connections the project sparked continue. JR’s art changes the ways we perceive each other. The impact of that shift may be far greater than we imagine.

time 100 jr
JR, via

The 2018 TIME 100 - Judy Chicago

It’s been almost 45 years since Judy Chicago first started working on her seminal installation The Dinner Party. Before that, she also gave life to Womanhouse with Miriam Schapiro, another beacon of contemporary art, and the feminist movement at large.

The former artwork is now a permanent part of the Brooklyn Museum in New York, and between October 2017 and March 2018, it was part of the very successful exhibition, which eventually led Judy Chicago to also release a set of ceramic plates inspired by the famous table setting.

Judy Chicago is in the spotlight again, and Emmy-winning television director Jill Soloway confirms it:

Her moment is finally here again, and everyone can see she is our legacy, our great, our modern Frida, the should-have-been Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol or whatever men got credited with inventing everything. She deserves every ounce of this brand-new but totally necessary showing of attention, resources, and tons and tons of love.

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