When there are so many wonderful artists out there, it gets really exhausting to pick a favorite. They all do something impressive, meaningful, breathtaking and simply beautiful that you just cannot wait for more. At the end of each month, we get a list of 10 most popular contemporary artists, and while it is always more or less the same names, it seems unjust that only 10 of them get to be showcased like that. Not that their talent isn’t enough - heaven forbid - the list simply needs to be around 1000 times bigger than it is. At least. Still, every month brings certain changes in the order of the most popular artists, so this time we got debutants and a new king of the list. Can you imagine? It’s not Banksy? Who else could it be then?
Scroll down to find out - it will be a pleasant surprise.
It’s been three months since the last time someone knocked Banksy off the top of our Most Viewed Artists list. This month’s winner is the young Greek artist Cacao Rocks, who debuted at number 10 last month. Recently, this 30-year-old artist has been featured in a BBC video, in which he explained what the increasing graffiti in the Greek capital tells us about the political climate in the country. Cacao Rocks is an artist inspired by ancient murals, people in the streets and art in general, and his own artworks often often depict particular characters or the complex, Cubism-inspired storylines. He also does video art.
When he’s not holding the no.1 spot, he makes sure he stays close enough. Bottom line is, you can’t get away from Banksy. Lately, his name has been featured in the news - yet again - because his piece titled Smiling Copper on Cardboard went over €1 million at a charity auction in Cannes. It previously belong to actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who is a vivid collector of art. Other than that, two of Banksy’s installations found their spot on our list of 10 street art installations, and yet another piece of his art is to be auctioned off at an event at Digard on June 1st. We expect nothing less than the usual skyrocketing prices.
Speaking of the Digard Auction, the works of another street art legend will go under the hummer, and this time we’re talking about Nick Walker. Climbing two places compared to last month’s list, the English artist is holding tight. What’s new in his career is that he released a 152 page hardback retrospective with hundreds of full-color images as a testimony of 20 years of his creativity, entitled The Art Of Nick Walker. The book is available online for £25. Dedicated to one of the most experienced members of the British underground scene, this publication promises to be the artist’s most comprehensive to date.
For the third month in a row, Spanish artist Borondo finds his place on our Most Viewed Artists monthly list. He too has been busy preparing his first ever book featuring his works. Entitled Memento Mori, the publication contains his sketches, drafts and photographic references collected by the artist himself over the years. Gonzalo Borondo is an extremely talented 26-year-old artist who has already had a significant number of solo exhibitions across Europe. His art is linked to graffiti, but his main interest seems to be scratched glass, a technique of which he became a true master. His bold artworks are easily recognizable for their impact and quality.
Some time ago, he was our Artist of the Week, and on this list, he has been a constant guest for five months now. Coming back to number 5 is Guy Denning, and he’s not just another regular guy. Alongside the above mentioned Nick Walker, he helped established the urban art scene in England. As if that’s not enough awesomeness already, he does drawings and paintings as well. His art is very raw and emotional, usually through figurative portraits of stunning appearance. His latest exhibition was held at Pretty Portal in Dusseldorf, Germany, under the name Shooting Angels. At the age of 50, Guy Denning sees no reason to stop whatsoever, as it should be.
Appearing on this list for the very first time this year is the amazing Tracey Emin, one of Britain’s biggest prides and joys. Perhaps best known for her revolutionary My Bed, which recently returned to Tate as part of its permanent collection that is free to the public for viewing, she’s been around for over twenty years. Next to her name, there are “titles” like CBE (Most Excellent Order of the British Empire), RA (Member of Royal Academy) and YBA (Young British Artist). For this year’s BRIT Awards Ceremony, she designed the award statue and installed her trademark neon installation writings throughout the event arena.
After a one-month break, Alexis Diaz, an artist from Puerto Rico whom you’ve met through endless mentions here on Widewalls, is back on the list. Recently, he has created a mural on the Elizabeth Street façade of the Rag & Bone boutique in New York, depicting a skull and a heart in his trademark style. His work was also part of the Surface exhibition of portraits by photographer Soren Solkaer, a documentary on street artists and their creations. Before that, with Jaz, he created a great mural in Mexico City, and in the meantime, he continues to produce amazing art, keeping us in awe every time.
Landing at number 8 and appearing on this list for the first time ever is Jesse Reno, a self-taught American painter and muralist. With an impaired vision but a very strong will, he creates beautiful art in forms of paintings and murals, often depicting symbols and primitive scenery. He has been exhibiting since 2000 and has created over 3000 paintings. He is also known for working on several canvases at a time, shifting between artworks and combining ideas. His latest endeavor is an exhibition titled Beautiful Squalor, which he will share with fellow artist Max Kauffman, opening on June 13th at Parlor Gallery in his home state of New Jersey, USA.
Going up and down our list is the German duo Herakut, made of Jasmin Siddiqui aka Hera and Falk Lehman aka Akut. Apart from being great artists, they are also very generous. Their latest endeavor involves dozens of children who helped them create six new pieces for the World Refugee Day, coming up on June 20th. The event will be held at the Open-Ohr-Festival in Mainz, Germany, and all proceeds will go into the funding of aptART projects. Recently, they have also painted a large mural in Berlin, titled If I Knew The World Ended Tomorrow, I would Plant An Apple Tree Today. We are sure they will keep up the good work.
Last but most definitely not least is only one of the greatest artists of all time, who hasn’t left this list once. Jean-Michel Basquiat died in 1988, but his art lives on forever. His works are selling like crazy without exception, which is demonstrated in the fact one of his paintings is already featured in the highest selling artworks of this year so far - The Field Next To The Other Road was sold at a Christie’s auction for $33 million dollars. His name will also be heard at the Art Contemporain auction at Sotheby’s Paris on June 2nd. And let’s not forget that his previously unseen notebooks are currently on view at Brooklyn Museum. A show you should not miss for the world.
Scroll down to check out the complete list of the most viewed artists from the comprehensive Widewalls database. Is your favorite there?