It is the end of another month, which means that it’s time to see which contemporary artists were the most popular in the last 30 days. The number one spot is most definitely not a surprise, because the guy is on the list to stay - for good - regardless of whether he’s on hiatus and nowhere to be found or busy making headlines with a depressing bemusement park. As for the others who made the cut, it is more or less the same names, with one particular surprise - Pablo Picasso! Although he’s not exactly contemporary, his art is surely timeless, and you, our readers, have come to appreciate this fact.
Banksy is on top of your list of most popular contemporary artists for I don’t even know which time in history of this website. But, at least in the past 30 days - or better yet, the past 10 days - he had a great excuse to be among the weekly highlights of the art world. His Dismaland art installation opened in Weston Super-Mare, attracting thousands of visitors and causing the ticketing system to fail. Many artists were involved in the making of this unusual bemusement park, and the latest we heard was that Banksy is walking among the visitors of Dismaland incognito. If you’re there, watch out - you might brush against the world’s most famous street artist by accident.
The American figurative painter David Choe was featured on our list in July as well, and it seems that our readers kept up his popularity in August as well. This versatile artist is also doing murals and graffiti, and his art usually explores themes of degradation, desire and exaltation, which got him the nickname “dirty artist.” While in a Tokyo prison in 2003, he made over 600 drawings as the result of loneliness and segregation, most of which depicted his Japanese cellmates. He also did a series of erotic paintings using soy sauce, tea, blood and urine as his colouring materials. He is still banned from returning to Japan.
For the first time on our list is the German artist and designer Fabian Gatermann, who makes art objects flailing between sculpture and design elements. In his artistry, he uses uncommon materials, such as abrasive paper, sugar and stamps. His most famous project to date surely is The Sugarchair, investigating the current media image of contemporary design and the designer himself. In this work, Fabian Gatermann merged the images of 10 most important designers of today to create a fictitious man called Pieter Brenner, and then made a chair using 30 kilograms of sugar, inviting the viewers to customise and even consume his work of art.
Another debutant on our list of most popular contemporary artists is Anais Martane, a Beijing-based photographer. Interested in Chinese traditions and culture, she primarily works with portraiture, having released her first book, titled Chinese Portraits, in 2004. One of her latest projects involves the Jewish community in China, to which she dedicated a project and an exhibition called La Maison de la Chine in 2006. She is the photographer working for companies like TIME magazine, Elle, Le Monde, and the Traffic d’Images photo agency. She lives and works in Beijing, and she has no plans in moving away any time soon.
The controversial Japanese photographer will soon be featured at the Photo Shanghai 2015 art fair, among many other local and international artists working in the field of photography. The 75-year-old Nobuyoshi Araki is known for his provocative erotic images, often depicting female models in what many describe as pornographic atmosphere. One of the biggest fans of his work is Icelandic musician Bjork, who had Araki provide the cover photo and inner sleeve pages of her 1997 remix album Telegram. More recently, he collaborated with pop star Lady Gaga. As of 2013, he has no vision in his right eye, but this hasn’t stopped him from working.
There’s nothing much left for me to say about the German artistic duo Herakut, made of, as you already know all too well, of Hera the painter and Akut the graffiti artist. In June 2015, Akut joined aptART and Palestinian artist duo Anway Yehya and Hamza Mansour in Gaza, where they encouraged youth and adults to paint the walls with stories, ideas and questions. At the SPLASH festival, Akut also painted a piece, together with artists Case and Rusk. The Herakut duo mixes Akut’s photorealistic spray paint and Hera’s more traditional techniques such as charcoal and acrylic. They both live and work in Germany.
Puerto Rican artist Alexis Diaz recently painted at Sea Walls Murals for Oceans festival, held on the island of Cozumel in Mexico, at the end of July. There, he painted one of his trademark monochromatic murals depicting phantasmagorical animals. This talented painter is known for his detailed artworks characterised by the precision of lining and shadowing, which can be found on walls around the world. When he is using colors, Alexis Diaz creates beautiful hues that emphasise his talents even further. His surrealist murals often visualise hybrids of animals or human skulls, with clear visual elements filled with complex lines.
Just recently, artist Stone Malone had a solo exhibition at his own gallery space in Los Angeles. However pretentious this sounded, this show was a refreshment in the middle of a dull exhibitionless summer season, and it featured his trademark 360-degree technique. This way of making art engages the artist - and the viewer - into the act of rotating the canvas multiple times, so that the artwork could be appreciated from every angle. Stone Malone is an American artist, activist and musician, whose often surrealist artworks are highly influenced by comic books and cartoon characters. He is sometimes called “the cartoon Picasso”.
The permanent resident of our monthly most popular contemporary artists list is certainly Jean-Michel Basquiat. Until only a few days ago, the exhibition of his rarely-seen notebooks closed at the Brooklyn Museum, after four and a half months of being on view. His works can soon be seen at Woodward Gallery in New York City, which will celebrate twenty one years of being in the art business, and thus will feature the works of all the artists who have been on show within their space, including those of Jean-Michel Basquiat. With the upcoming auctions season, we’re sure that his name will be frequent on our site, as his artworks sell for millions.
At number ten of our most popular contemporary artists list is none other than the legend that is Pablo Picasso. Here, for a moment, we can stop and appreciate his contributions to the movements of Cubism and Surrealism, as I’m sure writing his biography is completely unnecessary. Pablo Picasso’s art is more than alive and well, as his name tops the auction sales reports, and that’s probably another thing you knew about him. But, do you know his full name? Get ready. It’s Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso. Can you repeat it?
Here is the complete list of the most popular Contemporary artists in August! Scroll down to check it out.