Protest Art and Nude Photographers Drive artnet’s Top 300 Most Searched Artists in January

Every month, artnet keeps track of searches across its proprietary platforms to create an up-to-date list of the 300 most visited artists. The list provides interesting insights into the popularity of artists and the factors that drive it.

In January, Shepard Fairey stormed to number one thanks to his Donald Trump protest poster series “We the People,” featuring Muslim, Latino, and African-American women. Fellow street artist Banksy came in second place, whilst another street art favorite, KAWS, came in eighth.

Blue chip artists Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso came in third and sixth respectively, whilst erotic photographers Michael Dweck (fourth), Joch Sturges (fifth), Nobuyoshi Araki (seventh), and David Hamilton (10th) made up the largest chunk of the top 10. Sustained by interest in her impressive retrospective at New York’s Met Breuer, now on view at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, street photographer Diane Arbus came in ninth.

Other January winners included Ed Ruscha, who climbed 49 places from 85th to 36th, thanks to widely-publicized reports that Hollywood star Leonardo DiCaprio bought a $125,000 work by the LA artist at a charity auction.

News of February exhibitions in New York at the New Museum and international gallery David Zwirner propelled Raymond Pettibon to 75th place, after he ranked in 147th place for December.

A demonstrator holds up a poster from the

A demonstrator holds up a poster from the “We the People” campaign of US artist Shepard Fairey. Photo: GREGOR FISCHER/AFP/Getty Images.

Meanwhile, Peter Blake’s massive commission for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group was unveiled in London, and the publicity helped him climb from 128th place to 84th. The enormous artwork, which features almost 100 of London’s most prominent citizens, harkens back to the iconic cover he designed for the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album in 1967.

A show of Kenneth Noland’s late work at Pace gallery’s midtown Manhattan space prompted artnet users to search the color field artist, helping him make the top 300 for the first time in 5 months, taking 93rd place.

On the other end of the list, James Rosenquist suffered a steep decline as interest in the pop artist subsided following a brief spike in searches prompted by false reports of the 83-year-old artists death.

Peter Blake mural for the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London. Courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.

Peter Blake mural for the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park, London. Courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park.

The German shock artist Jonathan Meese dropped 65 places after a rare scandal-free month kept him off the headlines, resulting in fewer searches.

See the list of top artists for January below:

1. Shepard Fairey

2. Banksy

3. Andy Warhol

4. Michael Dweck

5. Jock Sturges

6. Pablo Picasso

7. Nobuyoshi Araki

8. KAWS

9. Diane Arbus

10. David Hamilton

11. Keith Haring

12. Robert Mapplethorpe

13. Nan Goldin

14. Helmut Newton

15. Jean-Michel Basquiat

16. Marc Chagall

17. Victor Vasarely

18. David Hockney

19. Roy Lichtenstein

20. Alec Monopoly

21. Yayoi Kusama

22. Jim Dine

23. Salvador Dalí

24. Fernando Botero

25. Joan Miró

26. Damien Hirst

27. Francesca Woodman

28. Sally Mann

29. Takashi Murakami

30. Joel-Peter Witkin

31. Gerhard Richter

32. Alexander Calder

33. René Magritte

34. Bernard Buffet

35. Max Laeuger

36. Ed Ruscha

37. Liu Bolin

38. Jackson Pollock

39. Leopold Munsch

40. Henri Matisse

41. Thomas Ruff

42. Robert Rauschenberg

43. Wayne Thiebaud

44. Frank Stella

45. Andy Goldsworthy

46. Mr. Brainwash

47. Wolfgang Tillmans

48. Sebastião Salgado

49. Milo Manara

50. Jeff Koons

51. Gregory Crewdson

52. Philip-Lorca diCorcia

53. Raoul Dufy

54. Peter Doig

55. Saul Leiter

56. Konstantin Razumov

57. Niki de Saint Phalle

58. Jan van Beers

59. Francis Bacon

60. Emmanuel Villanis

61. Rene Grönland

62. Yoshitomo Nara

63. Candida Höfer

64. Anselm Kiefer

65. Tracey Emin

66. Alex Katz

67. Jean Dubuffet

68. Pierre Soulages

69. Albert Anker

70. Anish Kapoor

71. Julian Opie

72. Andreas Gursky

73. Pierre et Gilles

74. Harland Miller

75. Otto Rudolf Schatz

76. Raymond Pettibon

77. Garry Gross

78. Cy Twombly

79. Georg Baselitz

80. Christian Boltanski

81. Bridget Riley

82. Cindy Sherman

83. William Klein

84. Peter Blake

85. Kees van Dongen

86. George Condo

87. Peter Max

88. Man Ray

89. Maurice de Vlaminck

90. Vik Muniz

91. Barbara Kruger

92. Egon Schiele

93. Kenneth Noland

94. Chuck Close

95. Jenny Saville

96. Richard Prince

97. Sigmar Polke

98. David LaChapelle

99. Albert Marquet

100. Maurice Utrillo

101. Grayson Perry

102. Tom Wesselmann

103. Karel Appel

104. Yves Klein

105. Emil Nolde

106. Sam Francis

107. Jenny Holzer

108. Grandma Moses

109. Helen Frankenthaler

110. Christopher Wool

111. Sol LeWitt

112. Cecily Brown

113. Katsushika Hokusai

114. George Grosz

115. Fernand Léger

116. Henri Cartier-Bresson

117. Wassily Kandinsky

118. Thomas Struth

119. Paul Klee

120. Alberto Giacometti

121. Duane Michals

122. Peter Paul Rubens

123. Margaret Keane

124. Irina Ionesco

125. Daniel Richter

126. John Baldessari

127. RETNA

128. Otto Dix

129. Robert Motherwell

130. Rufino Tamayo

131. Willem de Kooning

132. Lucio Fontana

133. Bernd and Hilla Becher

134. Josef Albers

135. William Kentridge

136. Jasper Johns

137. Friedensreich Hundertwasser

138. Antoni Tàpies

139. Pierre-Auguste Renoir

140. Joseph Beuys

141. Larry Clark

142. Louise Bourgeois

143. Brassaï

144. Hiroshi Sugimoto

145. Käthe Kollwitz

146. Boris Vallejo

147. Robert Longo

148. Max Ernst

149. Herb Ritts

150. Francis Picabia

151. Will McBride

152. Gustav Klimt

153. Christo and Jeanne-Claude

154. Richard Diebenkorn

155. Robert Indiana

156. Katharina Grosse

157. Kiki Smith

158. Arman

159. Hans Zatzka

160. Robert Combas

161. Irving Penn

162. Kehinde Wiley

163. Imi Knoebel

164. Gerda Wegener

165. Edward Burtynsky

166. Richard Estes

167. Claude Monet

168. Ronald Ventura

169. Jan Saudek

170. Bert Stern

171. David Lynch

172. Andrew Wyeth

173. Robert Doisneau

174. Edward Weston

175. Ellsworth Kelly

176. Georges Braque

177. Tony Cragg

178. Sonia Delaunay

179. Aslan

180. Erwin Olaf

181. Lucian Freud

182. Günther Uecker

183. Marina Abramovic

184. Arnulf Rainer

185. Markus Lüpertz

186. Janet Fish

187. Shirin Neshat

188. Swoon

189. Walasse Ting

190. Wolf Kahn

191. Annie Leibovitz

192. Ellen von Unwerth

193. Mel Ramos

194. Gio Ponti

195. Adrian Ghenie

196. Franz Xaver Frankl

197. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

198. Jeremy Mann

199. Patrick Demarchelier

200. Maurizio Cattelan

201. Vernon Ward

202. Julie Mehretu

203. Anton Pieck

204. Bettina Rheims

205. Kara Walker

206. Alfons Walde

207. Yaacov Agam

208. Nick Brandt

209. Harding Meyer

210. Agnes Martin

211. Pierre Bonnard

212. Joan Mitchell

213. Andres Serrano

214. Antony Gormley

215. Montague Dawson

216. Ernesto Neto

217. Le Corbusier

218. Marilyn Minter

219. Hans Hartung

220. Patrick Hughes

221. Wifredo Lam

222. Duane Hanson

223. A.R. Penck

224. Massimo Vitali

225. Elizabeth Peyton

226. Vanessa Beecroft

227. Henry Moore

228. Walton Ford

229. Miquel Barceló

230. Lyonel Feininger

231. Brice Marden

232. William Eggleston

233. Pierre Alechinsky

234. Dennis Sheehan

235. Sean Scully

236. Auguste Rodin

237. Jean Prouvé

238. Edgar Degas

239. Niclas Castello

240. Donald Judd

241. Tammam Azzam

242. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

243. Richard Serra

244. James Rizzi

245. Charlotte Perriand

246. Franz Kline

247. Zao Wou-Ki

248. René Gruau

249. Vija Celmins

250. Georges Rouault

251. Mark Ryden

252. Ludwig Meixner

253. Benedicto Cabrera

254. Edvard Munch

255. Erich Heckel

256. Mel Bochner

257. Mark Rothko

258. Yue Minjun

259. Thomas Hart Benton

260. Elliott Erwitt

261. Anna Gasteiger

262. Lucien Clergue

263. Graham Sutherland

264. Per Kirkeby

265. Erwin Wurm

266. Romero Britto

267. Russell Young

268. Eduardo Chillida

269. Emmet Gowin

270. Peter Beard

271. Peter Lindbergh

272. Zdzislaw Beksinski

273. Manolo Valdés

274. Albrecht Dürer

275. James Rosenquist

276. Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

277. Richard Avedon

278. Stanley Donwood

279. Jean Cocteau

280. Jonathan Meese

281. Sue Coe

282. Julian Schnabel

283. Heinrich Zille

284. Roberto Matta

285. Ren Hang

286. Camille Pissarro

287. Paul Gauguin

288. Marlene Dumas

289. Bo Bartlett

290. Beatriz Milhazes

291. André Kertész

292. Tamara de Lempicka

293. Elizabeth Catlett

294. Fabienne Verdier

295. Chris Ofili

296. Marino Marini

297. Peter Howson

298. Milton Avery

299. Qi Baishi

300. Gabriel Orozco

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