The Best Contemporary Artists

There is a long list of famous names that have produced art of some form or another that is defined as Contemporary Art. In this blog we discover some of the leading exponents of this art and some of the very best works they have produced.

Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst is an artist, philanthropist and is a prominent member of the Young British Artists, who have dominated the British art scene since 1990. Hirst is a most controversial figure in the art world, his exhibitions often include dead animals in tanks, and rotting corpses. Perhaps his most famous piece is that of a shark that was suspended in a tank of formaldehyde which was called The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living. A Turner prize winner, Hirst’s works have provoked outrage in some quarters.

Jeff Koons

Koons is an American and is best known for working with popular culture items, things that might be found in any yard or garbage dump. His inspirations and works include, vacuum cleaners, inflatable toys, and junk jewellery among other such household products. His main inspiration was Andy Warhol, and some of his most famous works include the Balloon Dog sculptures. Koons has been a big commercial success, and his challenge to art critics and collectors has been to change their ideas of what fine art actually is.

Gerhard Richter

Richter is widely regarded as one of the greatest artists of current times, he has a long and highly successful career that goes back almost sixty years. This prolific German artist has used traditional oils on canvas, over painting on photographs, watercolours and his famous Atlas Works which is a collection of photo’s, sketches, and newspaper cuttings which are arranged on loose pieces of paper.

Yayoi Kusama

Yayoi Kusama is a writer and artist, in fact this Japanese artist is one of the most influential figures in today’s contemporary art world. She is famous for her peculiar dots, pumpkins, infinity rooms and nets. Kusama came to fame in the late 50’s and she was one of the modern contemporary artists to explore with colour, space and form. Not restricting herself in just one artistic genre, she has also used performance, video, sculpture and video. Probably her most dramatic works are her installations and large-scale paintings that transform a space.

Jenny Saville

Another artist associated with the Young British Artist, most well known for her large scale works of naked women. These are not actually in any form erotic, normally these paintings are quite grotesque featuring mutilated, deformed, or obese women that have been dominated by male influences. Her style has been likened to a cross between Lucien Freud and Peter Rubens, she takes her inspiration from observing normal everyday people and then expands on that observation. Saville’s art is quite brutal in some respects and very critical.

These five artists are among the most famous contemporary artists in the world today, their work is completely different and there is really not one common theme that runs through their works. Their art is a statement of how they perceive modern life, and in some ways, they try to get the viewer to complete their works in their own minds.