10 Contemporary Artists You Need To Know

What makes an artist truly an artist is how they portray the world around them from a different perspective. They see the world through their eyes and want others to see what they see or leave it completely to the judgment of the viewer. Contemporary artists are the artists of today who observe their surroundings, society and the world and the changes that happen in all these to voice out their opinions through the medium of art. When you look around you can see contemporary artists in plenty, but those who move us with their work are only a few. Their works are not only inspiring but thought-provoking at times. This article talks about 10 contemporary artists you need to know if you are someone who ardently follows art.

  1. Takashi Murakami:

    Considered to be one of the most innovative contemporary artists, Takashi is closely associated with Japanese pop art. He is famous for his 'super flat' theory which talks about the flatness of Japanese visual art. His magical fingers touch upon the areas of painting, sculpture, and on mass-produced items such as toys and t-shirts. He is associated with Louis Vuitton, a leading fashion brand, who not only redesigned the brand's monogram but took a further step into incorporating Louis Vuitton monogram into his painting and sculptures. Takashi's works show a merging of different styles, approaches and time periods. His is one of the popular names in contemporary art and his works have been displayed at various solo exhibitions.

  2. Daniel Jacoby:

    A visual artist and filmmaker who focuses on abstract narrations through various platforms such as videos, texts, and performances. In his art, one can often find scientific curiosities, reference, with a hint of uncertainty to them. Daniel chose to display flat shapes, inspired by the geometrical patterns found on the clothes we use, in one of his solo exhibitions. As a filmmaker, his films were showcased at film festivals such as the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Les Rencontres Internationales, European Media Art Festival, and so on. He is also the recipient of Tiger Short Film Award at the IFF Rotterdam.

  3. Jenny Saville:

    A contemporary artist from Britain whose specialty lies in painting nudes and curvaceous female bodies. This style of painting is what earned her recognition worldwide. She goes beyond the conventions and breaks the boundaries to depict human bodies. Her painting can be seen as a one that challenges society's concept of a human body. She is best known for her self-portrait 'Branded' which feature her own body.

  4. Yoshitomo Nara:

    Said to be one of the prominent figures of the Japanese neo-pop movement, Yoshitomo Nara predominantly paints children and animal, who shows both their sides; good and evil. Rebellion, isolation, and spirituality are often the themes of his paintings. Most of his paintings and sculptures are based on child-like characters. The children in all of this painting seem innocent and sweet at first glance but looking closer shows their darker side. He has had solo exhibitions in Japan and America and his works are exhibited all over the world.

  5. David Hockney:

    A prominent name in the pop art movement of the 1960s,
    David Hockney, this English painter, and photographer is considered to be one of the most influential contemporary artists. He is the most expensive living artist who sold his painting 'Portrait of an Artist' for $90 million. His works are exhibited in some of the top museums in the world such as the Tate Modern in London, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the MET in New York.

  6. Damien Hirst:

    Be it his paintings, installations, sculptures or drawings, all of these speak about the complex relations of art, science, religions, life and death. His works stand as a challenge to the contemporary beliefs of society.
    Damien Hirst is an artist who likes to experiment with his work. This is evident in his series called Natural History which features animals preserved in formaldehyde. He is a member of the Young British Artists group and is well known for his work ' For the Love of God', which is a human skull with diamonds

  7. Yayoi Kusama:

    One of the biggest selling female artists in the world, she is known for her repeating dot pattern. Her art covers various media such as painting, sculptures, drawing, performance and film. She found solace in the art to escape from the mental illness and trauma she experienced as a child. To be an artist in a male-dominated industry in the 1960s was quite daunting. Her journey is nothing short of amazing if she's considered to be one of the prominent figures in contemporary art.

  8. Jeff Koons:

    The artist who likes to incorporate ideas of pleasure, taste, celebrity and commerce into his artworks. Jeff Koons gained popularity through his 'Banality' series. The intention of his artwork is to communicate with the masses. His iconic structures such as the Rabbit and Balloon Dog and also his monumental floral sculpture called the Puppy earned him recognition. Jeff Koons who began his work with assembling small toys has now evolved to an artist who is capable of creating iconic monumental works.

  9. Cecily Brown:

    British contemporary artist
    Cecily Brown makes use of sensuality in her paintings. She stands apart from the artists of her generation through the usage of sexual imagery and abstract expressionist style. Many of her painting feature bodies in erotic positions in surges of color. Her approach to her style of art has earned her a definite place in the list of contemporary artists.

  10. Anselm Kiefer:

    This German artist and sculptor is largely influenced by his life experiences. As an artist, he addressed his country's history and post-war identity. He developed an interest in working with diverse materials while studying under the artist Joseph Beuys. Materiality, mystical and mythological themes are all found in his work. The Tate Gallery in London, The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam houses many of his works.

So, there you have it, a list of 10 contemporary artists you need to know who have made their mark in the industry with their unique approach to art and how they chose to represent it.

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