It’s a recurring trend in the art scene for people to support the masters and the classical artists, which is only natural. But, a profound saying once said that you should support the living artists as the dead ones don’t need your money, which is a funny criticism of this trend.
If you think about it, modern and living artists indeed face many challenges in making a name for themselves as they are in constant competition with the ones who have already passed away. It doesn’t make much sense to support art and give millions of dollars for a Gustav Klimt painting, no matter how good he was, when many living artists struggle to make ends meet and pay their mortgages.
Modern Living Artists Worth Your Time And Money
Today, the art world always romanticizes the life and death of Vincent Van Gogh and how he died poor in 1890 and sold only one painting in his life without making any efforts to break that pattern. So, in the hopes of breaking that pattern, here are some living artists who you should be supporting:
1. Ai Weiwei
A popular saying challenges artists and art lovers to create and support artworks that bring comfort to those who need it and make others feel uncomfortable. Ai Weiwei does this with his art as most of his works are deeply political and critical of the Chinese government and its problematic views on human rights – or the lack thereof. You’re not just supporting an artist but also an activist who uses his platform to make the world a better place, one art piece at a time if you support him.
2. Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama is a perfect example of someone who can create beauty out of trauma as her art represents the hallucinations that have been plaguing her since her youth. She is one of the most popular Japanese artists who has made a name for herself with her eccentric personality, fashion sense, and art style. If you haven’t heard of her, then it’s time you should know more of her life and art until you eventually get obsessed with her.
3. Michael Reeder
Although Michael Reeder has done many solo and group shows throughout the years, he is still relatively unknown compared to the other artists on this list. But once you see his work once, you can identify his style in a sea of other art pieces as he has a distinct style. He mostly incorporates bright colors with some graffiti-style spray painting in his conceptual pieces ranging from murals, paintings, and sculptures reminiscent of the skate culture, which largely influences his style.
4. Juliana Huxtable
There are a few artists who you could also label as a writer, DJ, performer, and entrepreneur; Juliana Huxtable happens to be all of them. Her multidisciplinary works usually focus on the body, history, and internet culture. Her other art pieces also allowed her to express her interest in gender, and human rights, which she studied alongside art in New York City.
5. Jenny Saville
It was in the 1990s when Jenny Saville first made her name in the art scene by becoming a member of the Young British Artists. Today, she is a prolific artist who is also known as one of the most expensive female artists, a title she achieved when she sold her painting “Propelled” for a total of $12.4 million at a Sotheby’s gallery auction event.
6. Salman Khoshroo
Tehran-based Iranian painter Salman Khoshroo is another artist who is still slowly making it big in the art world with his auteur technique that blends the lines between fabric work, paintings, and sculpture. For self-taught painters, he is a huge inspiration as he is one because his background was a college education in Digital Arts.
7. Joseph Lee
Los Angeles-based Joseph Lee and his original passion were acting; he originally considered art a pastime that he could do between his audition and gigs. He has done several shows that are slowly propelling him to fame in the art scene with his brushstrokes that set his style apart from other artists. He is a talent to watch out for and would redefine the idea of art that you have.
Give Living Artists A Chance
This list of contemporary living artists is far from being exhaustive as there are thousands out there waiting for the world to recognize their talents, skills, and hard work. But these artists should give you a proper introduction to the many names you should know of.