EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

(Photo by: Dara Scully, EK Flickr Pool Submission)

Welcome, ladies n’ gentlemen, lads n’ lasses… gems n’ germs. The EMPTY KINGDOM Top 100 Artist of 2011 is here!

As with last year, this years “Top 100” was compiled by three of our authors (Konahrtist, okmarzo, and Bunnyman), so we fully acknowledge this list is totally unfair and does not in any way reflect a “real” sampling of the “best” work on the site, since there is no real and fair way to judge such a thing. Think of the Top 100 as simply a reflection of the personal taste of three people who lovingly took it upon themselves to spend the time to put a list together of the work they personally enjoyed throughout the year.

But please know our taste and editorial control is so strict that just being featured on the site at all means we automatically love you and your work, period. And there were many of you we fought for individually, but just couldn’t place without unanimous consent, so our heart goes out to you.

Last year we left the 100th spot open to honor all the artists who thought they should have been on the list but were not. This year we decided to leave the last spot open in honor of all the Art students and youngsters who have emailed us throughout the year telling us that our site has somehow made a difference in their lives. (which blows our minds)  -So we want you all to know we look forward to seeing your work featured on our site someday! And we encourage you to always push yourself to be your best not just as an artist, but as a human being and part of the community we are all building together.

Feel free to debate the list, but know everything we do is for the love of it and hopefully our work reflects that, so we hope you enjoy it!

BM: This year it was tougher for me to judge photography, because I felt like there was a lot of repetition out there.  Not to say there wasn’t amazing work.  The boundaries pushed in Fine Art & Mixed Media were amazing. Next year I’d like to see more design or film work crack the Top 100 list, but that’s up to us to find more content.

OK: First of all I must say we’ve put in a lot of work nominating and finalizing the top 100 artists featured for 2011. This is our second consecutive Top 100 list for Empty Kingdom. It was arguably more demanding to put together because our goal was so surpass the quality of 2010′s (and that’s fucking tough). We hope all of our viewers and followers are truly happy with the list just as much as we are. As one of the core authors I’m extremely proud of being able to share and expose to the world what Empty Kingdom believes is revisionary, innovative and radical. Besides the Top 100 list, every single artists featured on Empty Kingdom represents the quality and caliber behind our final decisions. All of the artists deserve the utmost respect.

KA: Ditto. I second what they said. We three had to shift through and revisit nearly 15oo posts for 2011 alone, so please it’s no surprise that it took us exactly a month after the new year to pump this out. It’s another year, another 100, and all is good.

And now, the EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 Artists of 2011 in alphabetical order:
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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

1. AJ Fosik ★ (November 2011, February 2010)

KA: I thought my mushroom tea tasted a little weird.
BM: Yummy to my tummy.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

2. Amanda Elizabeth Joseph (July 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

3. Amber Isabel (February 2011)

KA: In a dark basement office at the EK headquarters, plans for Project X begins.
BM: The first rule of Project X…is never talk about Project X.
KA: The second rule of Project X…is you kill anyone who talks about Project X.
BM: Then it is a good thing that we are already dead.
OK: We’re not even supposed to know who is who in the X room.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

4. Andreas Englund (August 2011)

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5. Andreas Franke (December 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

6. Anton Kusters (September 2011)

KA: “…extra wasabi…EXTRA WASABI…the boss always wants extras wasabi! How could I forget?!”
OK: It’s about time we call Mr. Kusters to document Empty Kingdom.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

7. Antony Micallef (June 2011, May 2010, February 2010)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

8. Ariana Page Russell (October 2011)

OK: Unquestionably, one of kind set from Ariana. I’m not quite sure if I’m over the physical textures.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

9. Asger Carlsen (December 2011)

BM: …Excuse me ma’am…but your butt is staring at me. How rude.

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10. Atelier Olschinsky (August 2011)

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11. Barnaby Roper (June 2011)

OK: A beautiful symphonic display of interactive visuals.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

12. Benetton: UNHATE Campaign (November 2011)

KA: Only if other nations would follow suit…
BM: How do we know this isn’t what they do when no one is looking?
OK: In the next series, you got to pay to see what else goes on.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

13. Berlinde De Bruyckere (August 2011)

BM: Insert babyback ribs joke here.
KA: Shit…insert the damn baby back into the womb…I don’t think it’s quite done yet.
OK: Empty Kingdom needs a hallway full Berlinde’s work.

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14. Big Lazy Robot VFX: “The Gift” (December 2011)

BM: Nothing lazy about this VFX group.  Sheesh.
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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

15. Bill Durgin ★ (EK Interview – July 2011, June 2011, May 2010)

BM: Mr. Durgin kicks arse.
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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

16. Brian Dettmer (March 2011)

BM: I love a person who can appreciate a good book.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

17. Brooke Shaden (June 2011, February 2011, February 2010)

OK: Each photograph displays each dimension of Brooke Shaden’s world.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

18. Bruno Dayan (February 2011)

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19. Christy Lee Rogers (October 2011)

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20. CILER (June 2011, January 2011)

BM: Who the heck drew on me while I was asleep???
KA: I don’t know, but are those granny panties?

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21. Daikichi Amano (June 2011)

KA: Dirty, dirty.
BM: Um…
OK: I’m hungry.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

22. Daniele Manoli (February 2011)

BM: Being hooked on phonics has really screwed me up.
KA: Being hooked on crack is pretty bad I hear too. I read that somewhere on the internet, but I don’t know about the validity of that statement.
BM: I have no idea what you’re talking about. By the way, have you seen a little glass pipe lying around here anywhere?  My, um, friend is looking for it.

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23. David Choong Lee (February 2011, May 2010)

BM: Mr. Choong Lee is one of the coolest mofos around.
OK: The multi-talented Mr. David Choong Lee.

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24. Debra Hampton (January 2011)

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25. Elizaveta Porodina (July 2011, September 2010)

BM: Yep.  She’s got it.
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26. Erin M. Riley (December 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

27. Fredrik Åkum (July 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

28. Gehard Demetz ★ (EK Interview – March 2011, January 2011, August 2010)

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29. Geirrod Van Dyke (June 2011)

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30. Gianmarco Magnani (EK Interview – March 2011, January 2011, April 2010, January 2012)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

31. Gottfried Helnwein (February 2011)

BM: If rabbits could mate with humans, I’d be all over this guy. RRaawwrrr.
OK: I never got to read his statement, but I’m pretty sure it’s abstrusely peculiar.

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32. Hayashi Natsumi (September 2011, February 2011)

BM: OH, so you think you can hop, huh?
OK: Beautiful.

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33. Henrique Oliveira (February 2011)

KA: Insanity in an art gallery.

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34. Hisatomi Tadahiko (October 2011)

OK: Organic.

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35. Holly Suan Gray (February 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

36. Iain MacArthur (April 2011, March 2011, March 2010)

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37. Istvan Nyari (October 2011, August 2010)

BM: I would make a silly comment but I’m afraid of getting my face ripped off. This artist is clearly not fucking around.

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38. James Hart Dyke (February 2011)

OK: Personally one of my favorite artists of 2011. Each brush stroke makes me oscillate, and each painted crevasse makes my mouth water.

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39. Jamie McCartney (April 2011)

KA: All hail the mighty wall.
BM: Respect the vagina.
KA: Oh trust me…I do.
OK: Should I praise standing or on my knees?

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

40. Jason DeCaires Taylor ★ (EK Interview – June 2011, February 2011, October 2010)

OK: The legendary sunken colony. Republic of DeCaires.
BM: When I die I want DeCaires to cast my body and put it underwater with the colony.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

41. Ji Yong Ho (September 2011, March 2010)

KA: WHAT DO YOU MEAN I COULD’VE SAVED A BUNCH OF MONEY ON MY CAR INSURANCE?!
BM: ha ha ha -good one.

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42. John Clang (June 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

43. José Ferreira (August 2011)

KA: Truly moving and startling work.
BM: Yea for reals. You know he’s legit if I have zero desire to make a smartass comment.
KA: “We’re dealing with real human beings who are suffering and dying and being tortured and starving because of policies that we are involved in we, as citizens of democratic societies, are directly involved in and responsible for. And what the media are doing is ensuring that we do not act on our responsibilities, and that the interests of power are served, not the interests of suffering people, and not the needs of the American people, who would be horrified if they realized the blood that’s dripping from their hands because of the way they’re allowing themselves to be deluded and manipulated by the system.” -Noam Chomsky

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44. Juha Arvid Helminen (July 2011)

OK: This series is such an iconic set. Imagine a film or a documentary based on this societal nation. Peerless.

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45. Julia Fullerton Batten (August 2011)

BM: I wonder why they are all dressed like Sailor Moon?
KA: Or also how Asian girls are also the object of most non-Asian men’s fetish/fantasy desires…”exotic orientals”, right?
BM: What’s an oriental?
KA: What? Oriental rugs? Huh?

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46. Justin Mortimer (March 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

47. Kelsey Brookes (November 2011, June 2010)

KA: Last year on a crazy-wack-a-do roadtrip to Las Vegas, we ended up getting absolutely lost in the middle of fuckin’ nowhere in the dead of the night on some god-forsaken unmarked rural highway, and ran over two HUGE hares (not mere rabbits) and a majestic owl (of all fuckin’ creatures of the desert) just before we ran out of gas.
BM: JJOOEEYYY!

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

48. Kent Williams ★ (September 2011, May 2010, March 2010)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

49. Kibwe Tavares & Factory Fifteen: “Robots of Brixton” (September 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

50. Kilian Eng (January 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

51. KILLMAG (October 2011)

BM: Kill Mag is pretty damn cool and so worth the download.
OK: If people want to see an app-based visual website, this is the one. There is no other app like this.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

52. Kim Cogan ★ (August 2011, March 2011, January 2011, January 2010)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

53. Korehiko Hino (August 2011)

KA: Right…
BM: Practice makes perfect?
KA: Right…
OK: Is this natural?

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

54. Kris Kuksi ★ (December 2011, August 2011, March 2010)

KA: I’m pretty sure that Kuksi sold his soul to the Devil at some point in order to be able to create something of this scale and level of intricate detail. Yes, I’m pretty sure.
OK: Or he sold his soul to God.
BM: lol, marzo

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

55. Laurie Lipton (June 2011, April 2010)

OK: The details…

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

56. Lee Guk Hyun (October 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

57. Lee Jeffries (August 2011)

KA: No joke…my insides feel like how this guy looks.
BM: Man, this series was for reals.
OK: Worldliness of souls that manifest.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

58. Lina Scheynius ★ (June 2011, October 2010, August 2010, April 2010)

OK: Nothing else matters, my darling.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

59. Lissy Elle (June 2011)

BM: ”Lassie, if these clouds evaporate, we are screwed.”
OK: Still searching.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

60. Ludovic Levasseur ★ (January 2011, November 2010)

KA: Say “HELLO” to my little friend.
BM: ”JOOEEYYYYYY!!!!!”
OK: This is what happens when we grow old and our toys expire.
KA: They grow penises?! And play with them?!!!
BM: You guys are crazy

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

61. Marco Mazzoni (August 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

62. Mariana Quevedo (November 2011 – PART I, November 2011 – PART II)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

63. Mars-1 (September 2011, October 2010)

KA: If anyone finds liquefied brains anywhere…they’re mine.
BM: It’s one of my goals to own a Mars-1 piece like this eventually…then you will never see me again.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

64. Marta Penter (October 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

65. Matthew Brown (February 2011)

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66. Matthew Cusick (April 2011)

OK: This artist will never get lost.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

67. Max Ginsburg (August 2011)

KA: After really examining Ginsburg’s work in 2011, I can say that he is one of the few contemporary artists that I truly look up to. He carefully merges classical dramatism with moments and scenes of relevant contemporary times in a way that makes my underwear tingle. Inappropriate? I think not.
BM: You’re so dreamy when you get all analytical n’ stuff.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

68. Menoside (June 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

69. Motohiko Odani (March 2011, June 2010)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

70. MUSICIANS WITH GUNS (January 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

71. Nick Pedersen (July 2011)

OK: A grand series that portrays the obligations and solidarity of man.
BM: The man, the myth, the legend continues.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

72. Nicola Samori (September 2011, EK Interview – January 2012)

OK: Samori’s work allows us to sense and smell the shadowy aroma within the world being represented.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

73. Oh Yeah Studio (September 2011, November 2010)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

74. Pakayla Biehn (December 2011, January 2010)

OK: Yes, this is a painting.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

75. Pat Perry (June 2011, November 2010)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

76. Polynoid: “Loom” (June 2011)

BM: As MDA put it, an “intensely epic CG-animated short”
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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

77. Raul Ronald Moreno Cardenas (March 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

78. Ray Jones (July 2011, August 2010, April 2010)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

79. REPLACEFACE (October 2011)

KA: Talk to me goose.
BM: You had me at hello. You complete me.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

80. Richard Mosse (December 2011, August 2010)

KA: I give much props to Mosse for bringing back such beautiful and startling images from war-torn Kivu, Congo. And to think, most American’s still think Africa is a country and not a continent…

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

81. Rikki Kasso ★ (August 2011 – PART I, August 2011 – PART II, January 2011, June 2010)

KA: Hello. Hi there.
OK: Rikki Kasso’s raw journalistic eyes truly deliver art through a series so tantalizing.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

82. Robert Gligorov (October 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

83. Ruben Brulat (November 2011)

BM: Seriously guys, where’d you hide my keys???  AND WHY AM I NAKED??
KA: Dude…major shrinkage.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

84. Ryan Schude (August 2011, May 2010)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

85. Sagaki Keita (March 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

86. Sandy Kim ★ (December 2011, December 2010)

KA: YES!
BM: Miss Kim so crazy.  With a capital Z.
OK: So Zandy!

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

87. Saturno Butto (March 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

88. Sauco (June 2011)

OK: The beauty in absurdity.
KA: …Or just another creepy, twisted, fucked up old man.

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89. Seo Young Deok (December 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

90. Serge Salat (September 2011)

OK: Serge Salat & Co’s traveling architectural installation show is one of a kind.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

91. Shawn Barber (July 2011)

KA: Mr. Barber is the illest of the ill.
BM: He’s super cool and was the first artist we met back when we were still in school and wet behind the ears. I consider him partially responsible for the success of EK today…he personally introduced us to many  great artists we love and support today.
I remember he was like: “I should introduce you to James Jean, he’d be a good interview for your documentary.”
And I was like, “Who’s that?”
And he was like, “Only one of the most influential illustrators working today… You ass.”
-okay I added the ass part, but it was history after that. Cheers to you, Mr. Barber.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

92. Shinji Imaoka & Christopher Doyle: “Underwater Love” (November 2011)

KA: Oh me, oh my…
BM: While giving a top 100 spot to a trailer is usually unacceptable, this one had the three of us giggling like school girls. Also, the fact that it was shot by the legendary Christopher Doyle makes it automatically awesome, no matter what the story.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

93. Shintaro Ohata (September 2011)

OK: It’s one thing to create sculptures and another to create a scenic installation. Shintaro creates both by blending a 3D rendered look, while feeling like we’re in the midst of an anime scene.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

94. Spunky Zoe (October 2011)

KA: Be it as it may, Spunky Zoe is probably one of my many personal favorite breakout artists for 2011. Ball-point pens, y’all…BALL-POINT PENS!

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

95. Terence Chang (June 2011)

BM: If you leave your heart in San Francisco…I’ll keep it safe. Cake.
KA: If you leave your heart in San Francisco…okmarzo will eat it with cake. Huh?

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

96. Thom Puckey ★ (EK Interview – November 2011, August 2011, May 2010)

OK: The Greek Gods are very proud of you.
KA: I think the Greek God both fear and desire Puckey’s works!
BM: I imagine the Greek Gods are a bit confused.

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97. Ting Cheng (July 2011)

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98. TSO Photography (September 2011)

BM: Where’s the double rainbow?
OK: Rumor has it that Double Rainbow Man supposedly relapsed after watching this.

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

99. Yutaka Sone (September 2011)

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EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 of 2011 - art blog

100. This spot is not only to all the other artists featured on EMPTY KINGDOM throughout this past 2011 year, but to all the young artists still in school, still learning, still developing, still growing. Without a doubt, EMPTY KINGDOM will see many of you featured on our site in the years to come, and many more make it to our future TOP 100 lists.

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= Denotes artists who previously made the EK TOP 100 of 2010

- This list is entirely subjective and in no way represents a popular opinion or objective vote.

- This list reflects strictly the personal tastes of the three authors who decided to put this list together: Bunnyman, okmarzo, Konahrtist


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