Top 10 artists

If you’re a student, tutor or collector of art here is an interesting list of artists who span a wide range of materials, techniques and visual expression:

1. Alex Greyalex-grey-albert-hofmann

Alex Grey was born in 1953, he is an American artist dealing with the spiritual and psychedelic art that is often associated with the New Age movement. His body of work spans a variety of forms and media including performance art, process art, installation art, sculpture, visionary art, and painting. He and his wife Allyson Grey are the co-founders of the Chapel of Sacred Mirrors, a non-profit institution supporting Visionary Culture in New York City.

2. Scott Donohue

Scott Donohue was born in 1982, he is a relatively new on the art scene but is already making a large impact. His work mixes a bold graphical, surreal style combining installations and paintings. He has exhibited across the globe high lighting environmental issues and commenting on the madness of modern times.

This unique fellow  creates installations that he describes as “machines that refuse to be repressed”. He likes to create the idea of machines being incapable of handling the intense imagination of the human mind. The precursor to his whole artistic world revolves around the co-dependent relationship of humans and machines; how technology distances us from the consequences of our actions. The instant gratification of text messages, internet and cell phones placates our egos but also diminishes the necessity of human contact. Donohue states “I use the freedom of my imagination to celebrate and critique my experience of the world.” He recently exhibited at the A & I Gallery in Los Angeles.

Virtual Utopia goes Bonkers-Scott Donohue

3. Zhang Xiaogang

Zhang Xiaogang was born in 1958, he is a contemporary Chinese symbolist and surrealist painter. Paintings in his Bloodline series are often monochromatic, stylised portraits of Chinese people, usually with large, dark-pupiled eyes, posed in a stiff manner deliberately reminiscent of family portraits from the 1950s and 60s.

Regarding the influences of China’s political upheavals on his paintings, Zhang said, “For me, the Cultural Revolution is a psychological state, not a historical fact. It has a very strict connection with my childhood, and I think there are many things linking the psychology of the Chinese people today with the psychology of the Chinese people back then.”


4. Naoto Hattori

“Naoto Hattori was born in Yokohama Japan.He graduated with honors from the Illustration Department at School of Visual Arts in New York. He received Awards from the Society of Illustrators and The New York Directors Club. he has been published in Airbrush Action, Airbrush plus
Art, Spectrum, Juxtapoz, Tattoo Savage, Heads, Cannabis Culture, Global Eyes…etc.  He has exhibited at the Fuse Gallery, CBGB Gallery,
Subculture Gallery, Compound Gallery, Perihelion Arts, Santa Barbara ontemporary Arts, Roq la Rue Gallry and more. Also he has been working in editorial, CD cover, book jacket, posters, flyers, skateboards and snowboards design.”


5. Takashi Murakami

Takashi Murakami was born in Tokyo. He is a prolific contemporary Japanese artist who works in both fine arts media, as well as digital and commercial media. He blurs the boundaries between high and low art. He appropriates popular themes from mass media and pop culture, and then turns them into thirty-foot sculptures. He often turns stereotypically cute characters into monsters and uses a vivid colour palette when painting.


6. Mark Ryden

“Blending themes of pop culture with techniques reminiscent of the old masters, Mark Ryden has created a singular style that blurs the traditional boundaries between high and low art. His work first garnered attention in the 1990s when he ushered in a new genre of painting, “Pop Surrealism”, dragging a host of followers in his wake. Ryden has trumped the initial surrealist strategies by choosing subject matter loaded with cultural connotation.” Taken from :


7. MC Escher

Maurits Cornelis Escher was born in 1898. He was a Dutch graphic artist. He is known for his often mathematically inspired woodcuts, lithographs, and mezzotints. These feature impossible constructions, explorations of infinity, architecture, and tessellations. His work plays with the logic of architecture and often displays gradual metamorphosis from one form into another.

8. Marc Jenkins

Jenkins’ practice of street art is to use the “street as a stage” where passersby become actors. Many of his installations have resulted in intervention by the authorities whom he also regards as actors. Most of his early outdoor works were non-commissioned.

Jenkins said the following about the illegal aspects of street art during an interview with art critic Brian Sherwin, “There is opposition, and risk, but I think that just shows that street art is the sort of frontier where the leading edge really does have to chew through the ice. And it’s good for people to remember public space is a battleground, with the government, advertisers and artists all mixing and mashing, and even now the strange cross-pollination taking place as street artists sometimes become brands, and brands camouflaging as street art creating complex hybrids or impersonators. I think it’s understanding the strangeness of the playing field where you’ll realize that painting street artists, writers, as the bad guys is a shallow view. As for the old bronzes, I really don’t see them as part of what’s going on in the dialogue unless addressed by a new intervention. “


9. Shepard Fairey

Frank Shepard Fairey (born February 15, 1970) is an American contemporary artist, graphic designer, and illustrator who emerged from the skateboarding scene. He first became known for his “André the Giant Has a Posse” (…OBEY…) sticker campaign, in which he appropriated images from the comedic supermarket tabloid Weekly World News. His work became more widely known in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, specifically his Barack Obama “Hope” poster. The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston calls him one of today’s best known and most influential street artists. His work is included in the collections at The Smithsonian, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


10. Blu

Blu’s fame began in 1999, thanks to a series of illicit graffiti painted in the historical center and suburbs of Bologna, the capital of Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region. In the early years of his career his technique was limited to the use of spray paint, the typical medium of graffiti culture. His characteristic style appeared in 2001, however, when Blu started painting with house paint, using rollers mounted on top of telescopic sticks. This new solution allowed him to increase the painted surface area and convey a stronger intensity to his visual vocabulary. Huge human figures, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes dramatic, who looked as if they were borrowed from comics or arcade game world, began appearing along the streets of Bologna.


All artists retain copyright of their images. Visit their websites to see more of their work.

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