The 5 most popular painters of our time

Leonardo Da Vinci, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Claude Monet, Sandro Botticelli — these names are familiar to almost every person who has heard at least a little something about world art. These are brilliant artists who lived and worked many years ago but were able to write their names into history.

Are there any worthy rivals for them in modern times? Let’s figure it out — in the article you can explore five popular artists of our time and their most expensive works.

Jeff Koons

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Jeff Koons was born in 1955, but his career as one of the most successful artists in the world began in 2007. Then he created a giant metal installation for the Sotheby’s exhibition — it was quickly acquired for $23.6 million. The following year, the artist managed to sell the purple Balloon Flower for $25.8 million at Christie’s London auction. Subsequently, there was a decline in demand for pop art, but already in May 2019, Koons sold his “Silver Rabbit” for $91 million.

David Hockney

The artist was born in 1937 and has been repeatedly recognized as one of the most important professional British artists of the twentieth century. In the early works, expressionism prevailed, in the later ones, he preferred pop art.

The most famous work of the artist is obviously “Splash”, on which he spent at least 6 thousand hours. The painting captures splashes after a person jumps into a pool. The difficulty was that the splashes are only noticeable for a couple of seconds — this is the reason why the drawing of this element took about two weeks. However, the artist’s efforts paid off, because in 2006 this painting was sold at Sotheby’s for $5.4 million.

Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter is a modern German painter, recognized as one of the most influential living artists. Two sides are combined in his works: history and almost photographic imagery on the one hand, as well as the crisis of figurativeness and the desire for absolute abstraction on the other. 

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In 2012, Gerhard Richter became the most expensive living artist when his “Abstract Painting” (1994) went for $34 million. He repeated the record twice: first in 2013, selling “Cathedral Square, Milan” for $37.1 million, and then in 2015, when “Abstract Painting” (1986) was sold at auction for $44.52 million.

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Cuī Rúzhuó

Cui Ruzhuo is a contemporary Chinese artist, calligrapher, collector and owner of several galleries. From under his hands came out a lot of worthy works, and more than 60 of them were later sold for more than $ 1 million. The most famous work is “Landscape in the Snow”, sold at Poly Auction for $23.7 million.

Fun facts: during his living in the United States, Cui Ruzhuo’s works was purchased for the collections of Ronald Reagan, Henry Kissinger, members of the royal family of Thailand.

Jasper Johns

The last place in the top five ranking of the most popular artists of our time is Jasper Johns. He gained his fame after the creation of “Flag” — in 2014 the painting was sold at Christie’s for $36 million. It was made on three canvases attached to a plywood board using three different techniques — encaustic, oil painting and newspaper collage. A successful combination of materials allowed the master to sound original and loud. All the collection of paintings with flags was created after the man returned from the army.

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When creating his paintings, Jasper Johns often mixes several different techniques, combining encaustic with oil painting and newspaper collage, harmoniously introducing sculptural structures made of metal, wood and plaster into his works. The work of Jasper Johns is attributed to modern pop art, moreover, the artist is considered to be the forerunner of this style, which had a significant impact on the development of contemporary art.

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