Top 10: emerging artists

Top 10: emerging artists

Olimpia Gaia Martinelli | Mar 19, 2023 13 minutes read

An emerging artist is usually defined as one who is in the early stages of his or her career, that is, still in the throes of refining his or her style, while beginning to gain some critical recognition, at the same time trying to develop a well-known commercial representation...

BLACK WOMAN (2022) Painting by Sabrina Seck.

Emerging artist: what does it mean?

An emerging artist is usually defined as one who is in the early stages of his or her career, that is, still in the throes of refining his or her style, while beginning to gain some critical recognition, at the same time trying to develop a well-known commercial representation. I have expressed this concept based on the most superficial and introductory statements of the NYFA (New York Foundations for the arts) website, which, declaratively, and without any second thoughts, admits how much the above definition is not exhaustive, as the term is subject to multiple interpretations, which, based on different parameters, vary like sea currents in constant circulation, roughly following data regarding the artist's age, exhibition history and reputation. Therefore, in order to deal with the intricate issue in a rather simplified way, I have endeavored to collect, within a Top 10, neither exhaustive nor positioned in order of liking, the work of a number of Artmajeur artists, united by the fact that their contribution brought to the art world, represents a preliminary and highly promising stage, which will be to be confronted with a subsequent, desirable and future media attention. Consequently, coming into contact with the work of these artists can be extremely stimulating, as you may be the very one to contribute to their eventual and future success, just as if you were interested in unearthing buried treasures, which, from being mere relics will one day become priceless relics of civilization to be preserved at the world's major art institutions. Therefore, why not try your luck precisely through the purchase of an "emerging" work? I invite you not to hesitate any longer to start browsing through my Top 10 now! Ah, I forgot, before you lose yourself in compulsive purchases, it is important to highlight how my ranking brings forth the narrative of ten artists, following a precise criterion of technical, stylistic, chromatic and thematic subdivision, within which are presented: 3 painters, divided by artistic currents they belong to; 3 sculptors, chosen on the basis of chromatic peculiarities; 2 photographers, intent on reproposing some of the best-known masterpieces of art; 2 digital artists, aimed at investigating the female figure through new technologies. Finally, all this discourse will necessarily be accompanied by continuous dialogue with the works of the great tradition, which, perhaps one day, our emerging artists will go on to emulate in success! (Fingers crossed).

THE COLORS OF THE STREET (2020) Painting by Val Escoubet.

AWAKENING AFTER A LONG NIGHT (2022)Painting by Péter Duhaj.

Painters: Hyperrealism, Surrealism and Expressionism

1.The Hyperrealism of Péter Duhaj

Péter Duhaj, an Hungarian hyperrealist painter, cites the model of contemporary artists from his country, such as Zsolt Bodoni, László Nyári, István Sándorfy, and Tibor Csernus, in his rich figurative work. Through these examples, he developed his very personal point of view, aspiring to the achievement of the most faithful representation of the real datum, in which emerges an extreme accuracy towards the treatment of the chromatic datum, forms, movement and emotions, oftentimes personified by female characters, who, from their perfect bodies, radiate a mystical erotic charge. Such an account also turns out to be perfect for describing Awakening after a long night, a painting well represented, in its figurative and popularizing intentions, by the artist's own words: "The idea for this painting came spontaneously from a moment experienced after a party with friends. The painting depicts a somewhat dreamy young woman waking up in the morning after a wild night. Her pose, facial expression, and exposed breasts provoke and stimulate the viewer to imagine different variations of what the woman experienced during the night, what she is thinking now, how she is feeling. The atmosphere of the painting draws the viewer into the story and becomes an actor in it." At this point, if we wanted to find a masterpiece from the past that similarly anticipated, albeit in a more chaste and traditional way, the above scene, we can take Rest 2, a famous work by the well-known Korean master Chang Hong Ahn, as an example.

EGG BOY IN RED HAT (2023) Painting by Ta Byrne.

2.Ta Byrne's Surrealism

The surrealism of Dali, master par excellence of the movement, takes on new forms and unprecedented messages, through the informal artistic flair of Ta Byrne, a Thai painter who, to the deep and introspective world of the unconscious of the above-mentioned Spanish artist, has brought, with greater constancy, a decidedly more humorous point of view, materialized through the creation of a dimension parallel to our own, in which human figures are "distorted" by the presence of elements of everyday life, which are simply placed on their faces. Byrne attributes his figurative mode of research to an "automatism" of Freudian implantation, according to which, "The longer one looks at an object, the more abstract it becomes and, ironically, the more real." At this point I would like to test what has been said, in order to experiment whether, by looking at my mother for a couple of minutes, when I hear the rumblings of hunger, I can actually see her face turn into a delicious fried egg, the same delicacy intended to cover the likeness of the protagonist of Egg boy in red hat. Finally, the very egg, oft featured in Byrne's surrealist portraits, is now for all intents and purposes a star in the art world, having been depicted by Hieronymus Bosch, Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Salvador Dalí, Claes Oldenburg, Sarah Lucas, etc.

HONESTLY (2023) Painting by Young Park.

3.Young Park's Expressionism

If we really want to associate Park's innovative work with a standardized artistic trend, her particular "Expressionism" is given by the emotional use with which she arranges the colors on the canvas, the support in which the faces of her characters come to life, realized through the use of chromatics, which although sometimes not very naturalistic, are certainly intimist, introspective and of great psychological impact. In fact, the artist, who was born in South Korea in 1977, makes explicit without hesitation the fact that she, in each of her portrayed figures, whether material, immaterial, male, female, etc., realizes a stage aimed at pursuing the knowledge of her being, up to the point of being able to touch her thoughts, which affirm how in life there is no actually right answer. Precisely, his works merely capture the only truth, namely that of the present moment, the result of deep insight, which rebels against the imposition from the existence of universal thought. Speaking of the protagonist of Honestly, he was captured almost involuntarily, within a clear moment of personal reflection, in which his thousand ideas would seem to take the form of the soft chromatic shades placed on his face, which refer to a related masterpiece of art history, in which the pigmentation of the protagonist underwent a somewhat similar, if more drastic, process, namely, Sonia Delaunay-Terk's Finlandaise (Finnish Woman) (1907-1908).

OMNIA VINCIT AMOR (RED) (2022)Sculpture by Andrea Giorgi.

Sculptures and colors: red, black and ochre

4.Andrea Giorgi's red

The color red has been chosen, within the artistic investigation of Andrea Giorgi, an Italian sculptor born in 1974, with recurrence, but sparingly, as this hue is linked to a specific message with which some works have been conceived, rather than to a tonal trend dictated by the most superficial seasonal trends. Making these statements evident are the words expressed by the artist regarding the sculpture Omina vincit amor, aimed at using the aforementioned color as the latter is the most suitable for expressing the concept of love, an eternal sentiment in this case made tangible by the sculpture's protagonist, who is intent on observing a small figure cleverly placed inside his giant heart, namely: his beloved woman. Such a romantic message is further reinforced, both by the tattoo displayed on the protagonist's arm, intended to repropose the title of the sculpture itself, and by the ancient appearance of the work, intended as if it had been consumed precisely by the intensity of love. Speaking of art storytelling, on the other hand, the well-known contemporary sculptor Chen Wen Ling also associated red with a profound motion of the soul, namely that of laughter, aimed at animating Red Memory - Smile, a sculpture about 5 meters high, recently acquired by the Chinese multinational Alibaba Group at its Hangzhou headquarters. 

BABYFOOT 85 (2021) Sculpture by Idan Zareski.

5.Idan Zareski's Blackness.

Black mood: these two words summarize, in part, the "dark" sculpture of Zarescki, an Israeli artist born in 1968, who wanted to immortalize a somewhat grown-up and viciously sullen child through the hues of the aforementioned color, to be interpreted as the clearest rendering of those nefarious and angry moods that lead us into the darkest and most rancorous meanderings of our mind. In fact, if we think about what a child's wrath might trigger, the work might as well abandon this tonal "severity," for while their tantrums are annoying, they generally do not lead to nefarious measures. Speaking of Artmajeur's artist, Zareski, who lives and works in several countries, has accumulated within himself a rich cultural background, the work of which largely reflects his many experiences. Despite such richness, in which it would not be difficult to get lost and go off-topic, the artist maintains his clear figurative identity, which recurs through the depiction of large feet, aimed at reflecting origins, as well as our connection, as mother earth. Finally, to conclude this brief disquisition on the aforementioned color I would call in the help of Fernando Botero, whose well-known Black Hand, a sculpture from the city of Madrid, could be stretched toward that of the sullen Babyfoot 85, to invite him to get up, smile and go back to play.

云中君(ODE TO GALLANTRY) (2022) Sculpture by 永昌 赵 (Zhao Yongchang). 

6.Yong Chang Zhao's Yellow.

As the Western laywoman that I am, I dare to juxtapose, somewhat blasphemously, Zhao's Ode to Gallantry with the well-known image of Bastien fly astride Falkor, proposed by the popular 1984 film titled The Neverending Story. On the contrary, the Western artist Zhao turns out to be totally outside the reality proposed by Wolfgang Petersen's film, so much so that his wiser and less materialistic Western culture, reveals the real interpretation of the work, aimed to be summarized in the following words of the sculptor himself: "The boy and the dragon horse feel each other and have merged together. The boy has the immortal power and divine nature of the dragon horse, and the dragon horse has the wisdom and courage of the boy. They got on the clouds and traveled around the world, making this world more just and light." It follows, that, albeit in entirely different ways and despite Zhao's greater awareness and introspective depth, the friends in the sculpture and film, who together face a thousand vicissitudes, also become symbolic of the strength of two minds, which, pursuing the common good, act in unison toward the achievement of the highest values of humanity. Finally, on the subject of color, the yellow of Zhao's sculpture reminded me of a hue often used by Medardo Rosso in order to give life to his many heads, including The Concierge, an 1883 work made of yellow wax.

THE ODALISQUE WITH THE WHITE ASS (2020)Photography by Mathilde Oscar.

Photography & remakes

7.Mathilde Oscar and The Great Odalisque

Mathilde Oscar, a French artist born in 1980, first became interested in painting, then in Art History and graphic design, discovering only later her greatest passion for photography, a technique through which she transposed her figurative ideas, strongly inspired by the work of the great masters of Romantic and neoclassical painting. Such subjects drawn from the past are united with the narrative of modern and technological times, as the artist combines the codes of classical painting with photography and digital manipulation, generating a narrative whose sensuality, mischief and irony is extremely enhanced by a luminous approach, aimed at recreating the atmosphere of the most famous masterpieces. In the interpretation of the latter, however, a strong anachronistic and nonconformist vein appears, which, placed within in an unknown space-time, generates extremely contemporary female characters, as proudly sensual, winking, swaggering and charismatic. An example of what has just been stated is the photograph The Odalisque with the White Butt, whose irreverent title already puts us on the lookout for the desecration of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres' masterpiece of The Great Odalisque (1814), in which the model's sensual pose was accompanied by a calm and shy smile, while in Oscar's version the photographer shows us something more about the buttocks, accompanying such a view by a swaggering, winking and extremely confident facial expression that seems to say: I'll show you my butt, so what?

BREAKFAST ON THE GRASS #2. AFTER ÉDOUARD MANET (2017)Photography by Marta Lesniakowska. 

8.Marta Lesniakowska and Breakfast on the Grass.

When a contemporary artist approaches a "classical" masterpiece, he or she does not always re-propose it by enhancing and changing its details, as, there are times when these great examples of the past are admired and reproduced as if observed from afar, generating a new point of view on the subject, which seems, given the distance, to leave the sacred aura of the story intact, to open a new chapter without "defacing" it. This is what I thought when I saw Breakfast on the Grass #2, a work originally by Édouard Manet, reproduced in the version by Lasniakowska, an artist, photographer and art critic, whose artistic investigation pursues the intent of calling to mind familiar images in order to convey and internalize them within the context of the 21st century. On the other hand, regarding the variations that Breakfast on the Grass underwent through the artist's point of view of Artmajeur, it is undisputed how the dark, faded hue of the photograph provocatively rejected the original pure Impressionist color in order to render the idea of passing time and imperfect memory, of which the photographic medium is the undisputed spokesperson and sole trace. Finally, the distant framing takes its cue from Romanticism, thus uniting the work of Manet with the point of view of Caspar David Friedrich, in whose work recurs natural expanses having the purpose of dramatizing the image.

ANA ISABEL (2023) Digital Arts by Carla Sá Fernandes.

Digital art and female subjects

9. The digital women of Carla Sá Fernandes

It is undisputed how color is an integral part of Carla Sá Fernandes' work, in that, on every occasion, or almost every occasion, it is primarily and unquestionably present, whether in painting or digital painting, or in figurative works, that of predominantly linear and dripping abstraction. Indeed, as the artist's biography reveals Fernandes, a Portuguese artist born in 1971, uses the medium of painting to explicate her experiences and emotions, precisely through the use of spontaneous and vivid color combinations. About the digital painting Ana Isabel, on the other hand, we can think of this work as a great innovation of modernity, as the great masters of the past could not depict women so vividly, in fact, we can think of another woman with red hair depicted, decidedly more soberly, by Degas, such as that of Portrait of a Young Woman of 1867.

 WHAT WE ARE... (2022) Digital Arts by Masa Zodros.

10. Masa Zodros's Digital Women.

Masa Zodros is an artist who specializes in photographic manipulation, a technique in which she gives space, primarily, to portraits of people of color, subjects that are captured within eras of the past or surreal, mythological and cultural situations, executed through the use of software, starting with the modification of models observed in her studio. The purpose of this work is made explicit to us by the artist, who would like to create versions of the black man and woman who are exempt from our history, which is rich, on the contrary, in dramatic events of domination, exploitation and alienation. Beyond these sad facts Zodros imagines a reality outside of time, that is, a more just dimension in which his people could have developed, achieving a more equitable cultural expansion, taking place in structures and institutions more like them. This latter artistic intent also underlies What We Are, a work within which, the mask of the protagonist, brings me back to the subject of Les Fétiches (1938), a masterpiece by Lois Mailou Jones, a black artist who fought for the recognition of the history, culture and rights of black people. 

Have you chosen your favorite emerging artist yet? 

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