EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 Artists of 2013

TOP 100 2013

[Photo by: Shelbie Dimond]

939 is the magic number for EK in 2013. 939 only has 4 factors: 1, 3, 313, 939…which doesn’t really have any significant meaning relating to our TOP 100. AMD made a CPU called the Socket 939 back in June 2004…but we’re not sponsored by them nor any other computer tech company to supply us with the machines that we need to run EK. The year 939 in Roman numerals is CMXXXIX…which doesn’t mean crap since none of us use Roman numerals anymore.

According to HistoryOrb.com, 4 major events took place in year 939 that were documented:
July 8th (The Major Occultation, or Ghaybat el-Kubra of Muhammad al-Mahdi),
August 6th (Battle at Simancas – Spain beats Moors),
October 2nd (Battle at Andernach: King Otto & Hermann of Zwaben beat Eberhard of France & Giselbert of Lutherans),
October 27th (Edmund I succeeds Athelstan as King of England)…which all has nothing to do with EK.

Nonetheless, 939 is the exact number of posts we had to sift through for 2013 in order to bring to all of you art-fiends our fourth annual EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 Artists of 2013!

Here at EK, none of us are doing this just for visitor hits and pageviews; we’re not doing this just to chase numbers for a website, but rather, we do what we do because we’re just fucking passionate about sharing good fucking art. Fuck. There’s no point in sharing art that’s just meeh.

Nonetheless, 939 posts is a lot for us to individually sift through to finalize 2013’s TOP 100, and with countless cups of coffee carefully brewed by our interns by hand, all of our office furniture completely destroyed from hurling them at each other during deliberations, and the late night heated discussions and debates that ended with multiple stab wounds, we urge all of you to debate, argue, and malign the list if you want. In fact, if you hate it that much, go through all of the 939 posts from all of 2013 and make your own fucking list. WE know that YOU know that WE know that there truly is no objective way to “judge” art, and with the caliber of artists that we feature daily on EK, this list is merely a sampling of some of the outstanding work from 2013 selected by our staff; think of it as a kind of “art mix-tape,” if you will, from us to you.

About now, you’re wondering “how the fuck does one consider the artwork featured on EK for a spot on the TOP 100?” Well, I’m glad that you asked. We consulted the some of the greatest contemporary minds in the fields of astrophysics, advanced mathematics, oceanography, chemistry, zoology, biology, psychology, architecture, automotive technology, aeronautic engineering, underwater cave spelunking, cosmology, and library studies to come with this highly advanced and technical formula that would make Neil deGrasse Tyson and Bill Nye the Science Guy blush and giggle.


Technical Skill + Creativity + Subject Matter / Message + Body of Work + Personal Taste (of the author) = Selection (with the weight of each depending on the artist and category)


Unlike the previous EK TOP 100 lists (2012, 2011, 2010), we took a bit of a different route this year and called for back-up in banging out the TOP 100. We summoned OG authors the blind architect (BA) and P1XELATED (PX) to join forces with the usual three, Bunnyman (BM), okmarzo (OK), and Konahrtist (KA), to come together to form some sort of weird animal-mech like Voltron, but way cooler. And bigger. And more violent.

And to continue the tradition like in years prior, we dedicate the 100th spot to the hustlers. The artists who have a full-time job and still grind. Those who bust their asses in the hopes that sooner than later they’ll be able to pursue art full-time, not just in their free time. That they will be able to feed themselves with their art. The 100th spot is for those who pursue their craft tirelessly…we’ll see your work on the international level soon enough.

We also wanted to take a moment to recognize other EK family members who shed their blood, sweat, tears, and more blood as they tirelessly shared new artists, revisited past favorites, brought you exclusive interviews, and presenting gallery spotlights from across this tiny planet during 2013. We could NOT have provided nearly half of the content to all of you dedicated EK fans with out (in order of appearance):

my dark apron
Slim Cognito
Sir. Berus
The Dreamer

…also much thanks to our newest additions Cristina Dunlap (Staff Photographer), Raphael Guilbert (Regional Gallery Liaison), Claire Flannery (Regional Gallery Liaison) for all of your help with Art Basel Miami! Okay, we’re done with the shout-outs. Thank you EK FAM-BAMS!

And finally before unleashing the TOP 100 on all of you, the five authors responsible for this list would like to share a few words before being sent out on the street corners (yet again) to sell their bodies in order to help pay for server expenses for EK. We’re still looking for angel investors and welcome donations if you want to save these poor souls.

BM: In a world without art, we must all kill ourselves. In a world with art, we must fight for every human soul.

OK: Empty Kingdom wouldn’t be what it is today if these artists never had a creative will to discover.

BA: my name is Oswald. I am a black belt in paper aeroplanes and teaming up with Will Smith to fend off alien invasions.

PX: I can’t sleep at night and I blame all these dope artists.

KA: …someone…please…call the police…or Liam Neeson!

(Originally posted January 31, 2014)

And now, the EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 Artists of 2014 in alphabetical order (by first name):


1. Aaron Sherwood & Mike Allison (January 2013)


art blog - Aaron Nagel - empty kingdom

2. Aaron Nagel (December 2013, July 2012, March 2010)

BA: I want to see more blue dots.



3. AJ Fosik ★10 ★11 (EK Interview: December 2013, November 2011, February 2010)

PX: Twiddling wood to the next level.


art blog - Akira Asakura - empty kingdom

4. Akira Asakura (March 2013)

BA: Ahhh yes, diagon alley.
KA: More like muggers alley.
PX: If I was going to get raped, I would just take a shit in my pants.
KA: Yo PX, it’s not rape if you like it.


art blog - Akira Beard - empty kingdom

5. Akira Beard (May 2013, June 2012, November 2010)

PX: Hello, Clarice.
OK: It’s good to see you again.


art blog - Alex Luckas - empty kingdom

6. Alex Lukas (September 2013, May 2010)



7. Ana Teresa Barboza (January 2013)

KA: “I give you ALL of me!”
OK: I want all of her work!


art blog - Andrew Young - empty kingdom

8. Andrew Young (March 2013, October 2011, August 2010)


art blog - Angelo Merendino - empty kingdom

9. Angelo Merendino (November 2013)

KA: There’s so much love in Merendino’s images of his wife that it’s truly remarkable. It’s one thing to be able to capture a great portrait, but it’s something else to be able to capture one’s unconditional love through the lens.
BM: Life. Angelo took a personal tragedy and taught us to cherish every moment with our loved ones. Thank you and sorry for your loss, sir.
BA: It’s heart wrenching to see her age so much and so quickly, seeing this photo you’d never know she was a beautiful vibrant young woman shortly before.


art blog - Annemarie Busschers - empty kingdom

10. Annemarie Busschers (December 2013)

PX: To BM, KA, BA, and OK…let me know when I start growing hair out of my ears.


art blog - Antonio Santin - empty kingdom

11. Antonio Santin (September 2013)

KA: Has anyone seen the new intern around?
BM: The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club.


art blog - Aron Demetz - empty kingdom

12. Aron Demetz (March 2013)

BM: “Someone pleeeaasseeeee scratch my back!”
PX: I gotcha!


art blog - Brendan Monroe - empty kingdom

13. Brendan Monroe (November 2013)

KA: Who loves drugs? I do.
PX: I’m your pusherman.


art blog - Caitlin Hackett - empty kingdom

14. Caitlin Hackett (April 2013)

BA: This is as beautiful as it is horrifying.


art blog - Caleb Brown - empty kingdom

15. Caleb Brown (August 2013)

KA: Fuck yeah!
BM: I’ll admit my crime when sharks fly in the air -oh dang it. Um…yeah, so it was me. I stole the cookie from the cookie jar.
BA: Nothing like another day skydiving with sharks into explosions, isn’t that right Albert?


art blog - Chad Wys - empty kingdom

16. Chad Wys (October 2013, January 2012)

KA: I’m not doctor, but I think you should get yo shit checked out. Again, I’m not a doctor…just an enslaved author at EK.
PX: Would suck to stand next to this gentleman during NYC rush hour.


art blog - Charlie Anderson - empty kingdom

17. Charlie Anderson (April 2013)

PX: For some reason I want to fight now.


art blog - China Mike - empty kingdom

18. China Mike (June 2013)

PX: Why is his name China Mike?
KA: I hope he’s Chinese or at least part Chinese.


Art Blog - Christian Rex van Minnen - Empty Kingdom

19. Christian Rex Van Minnen (April 2013)

KA: Hey bro…you got a little something right there by your lip…
BM: Right there on your…uh…face…
BA: This man’s been reading too much Lovecraft.
PX: Caviar wishes and champagne dreams.


art blog - Christoph Bangert - empty kingdom

20. Christoph Bangert (July 2013)

BM: Damn it, it’s pictures like these that make me feel all shitty being cheeky in the picture right above. Again, I salute the photojournalists out there; they are a special breed of artist that deserves a lot of recognition. I’m too much of a sissy to open my soul up to experiencing such things.
KA: Ditto brotha. It’s images like Bangert’s that reminds me just how much further we as a species still need to grow and evolve to stop all this fuckin’ craziness.


art blog - Cristina Troufa - empty kingdom

21. Cristina Troufa (February 2013)

KA: This is such an awesome use of negative space!
PX: Your face is negative space!


22. Cyriak’s music video for Bonobo (January 2013)


art blog - Damian Loeb - empty kingdom

23. Damian Loeb (March 2013, August 2010)

PX: I love when she gets me milk for my cereal. If you have to know – Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
KA: Loeb’s depiction of light in his work is remarkable! I’m more of a Honey Nut Cheerios man.


Damien Hirst - Empty Kingdom - Art Blog

24. Damien Hirst (April 2013)

PX: I can smell it through my screen.


art blog - Diego Gravinese - empty kingdom

25. Diego Gravinese (September 2013, August 2010)

BA: This is too weird not to enjoy.
PX: I wonder if she keeps her socks on…
OK: They must be so high off those rocks.


art blog - Douglas McDougall - empty kingdom

26. Douglas McDougall (October 2013)

KA: What a handsome man, indeed!


art blog - Duarte Vitoria - empty kingdom

27. Duarte Vitoria (October 2013)

BA: I love Duarte’s depiction of flesh.
KA: Human flesh. It’s what’s for dinner.


art blog - Curiot - empty kingdom

28. El Curiot (November 2013)

KA: ALL HAIL…E! K! E! K! E! K! E! K! E! K! E! K! E! K!
BA: Damn, that forest spirit god can aim his farts well.


art blog - Eric Fortune - empty kingdom

29. Eric Fortune (January 2013, April 2010)

PX: There’s always one in the group showing off.


art blog - Erik Thor Sandberg - empty kingdom

30. Erik Thor Sandberg (October 2013)

KA: Is it me or does this remind anyone else of our company meetings?
BA: Wheelbarrow sex. Bottom right corner. Every time I look at this thing I see something new. I love it.
PX: Where’s Waldo?



31. Erin M. Riley ★11 (EK Interview: November 2013, EK Interview: December 2012, December 2011)

KA: Now that right there is a classy lady if I say so myself…my kinda lady!
BM: Erin Riley gonna be famous some day.
KA: What you talkin’ bout Willis? Riley already is famous!
OK: Erin is going to be my wife one day. She just doesn’t know it yet.
PX: You have no chance OK, I’m geographically closer.


art blog - Francesco Albano - empty kingdom

32. Francesco Albano (December 2013)

KA: Riiiiiiiiiight…
BM: When the pressure becomes too much…


art blog - Han Cheng Yeh 承燁韓 - empty kingdom

33. Han Cheng Yeh (承燁韓) (August 2013)

PX: Uh, lotion?!
KA: MMMMMmmmmm let me suck on them toes! Oh shit, was that out loud?!


art blog - HANDIEDAN - empty kingdom

34. HANDIEDAN (November 2013)

OK: HANDIEDAN sets the bar when it comes to mixed media collage work.
PX: And the Carpal Tunnel trophy goes to…


art blog - Hikari Shimoda - empty kingdom

35. Hikari Shimoda (January 2013, July 2011)

PX: Poor kid, so young to have a comb over.


art blog - Hsiao-Ron Cheng - empty kingdom

36. Hsiao-Ron Cheng (March 2013)

PX: Looking at this aggravates my allergies, but it’s so good it’s worth the pain.


37. Humans Since 1982 (March 2013, January 2011)


art blog - Jamie McCartney - empty kingdom

38. Jamie McCartney ★11 (November 2013, April 2011)

KA: Guess which one’s mine…
BM: Oh lordy. Dicks are so ugly. They all look like the little alien dick-head things from those Aliens movie.


Januz Miralles - Empty Kingdom - Art Blog

39. Januz Miralles (October 2013, April 2012)


art blog - Jee Young Lee - epmpty kingdom

40. Jee Young Lee (December 2013)

KA: Jee Young Lee…will you marry me?
BM: I call dibs on officiating!
OK: FYI Jee Young Lee uses no photoshop!


art blog - Jeff Liu - empty kingdom

41. Jeff Liu (June 2013, March 2013)

PX: Concrete Jungle.


art blog - Jieun Park - empty kingdom

42. Jieun Park (August 2013)

BM: Very good.
PX: Very, very good.
OK: Indeed.


art blog - Jimmy Nelson - empty kingdom

43. Jimmy Nelson (December 2013)

BA: This. Jimmy Nelson makes me want to sell everything I own and go adventure. But why is that one dude wearing sunglasses?
KA: Who says you can’t look cool during and after the hunt?


art blog - Joe Fig - empty kingdom

44. Joe Fig (April 2013)


art blog - Johnson Cheung-shing Tsang - empty kingdom

45. Johnson Cheung-shing Tsang (October 2013, April 2013)


art blog - Jonty Hurwitz - empty kingdom

46. Jonty Hurwitz (February 2013)

BA: Yeah, science bitch.
PX: I bahleeve in Science.


art blog - Joseph Marr - empty kingdom

47. Joseph Marr (November 2013)

PX: Bonita Applebum.


art blog - Justin Bower - empty kingdom

48. Justin Bower (April 2013)

PX: I’m speechless.


art blog - Kang Kang-Hoon - empty kingdom

49. Kang Kang-Hoon (April 2013)

OK: She’s got the han.
KA: Who knows about the han?! Y’all don’t know about the han!


art blog - Karen Ann Myers - empty kingdom

50. Karen Ann Myers (December 2013)


art blog - Karim Hamid - empty kingdom

51. Karim Hamid (October 2013, January 2013, March 2010)


art blog - Keinyo White - empty kingdom

52. Keinyo White (October 2013)


art blog - Kent Williams - empty kingdom

53. Kent Williams ★10 ★11 (September 2013, September 2011, May 2010, March 2010)

OK: Kent Williams does not stop. He will not slow down.


art blog - Kevin Beilfuss - empty kingdom

54. Kevin Beilfuss (June 2013)


art blog - Kevin Francis Gray - empty kingdom

55. Kevin Francis Gray (December 2013, September 2010)


Kyle Thompson - Empty Kingdom - Art Blog

56. Kyle Thompson (EK Interview: August 2013, May 2013)

OK: Kyle Thompson photographs the way we feel in metaphysical ways.


art blog - Lee Chen Dao - empty kingdom

57. Lee Chen Dao (April 2013)

KA: Funny…this is my favorite pastime.
PX: Is this what twerking is?
KA: Titty twerking!


58. Li Hongbo (March 2013)

KA: Pure dopeness…let the brain melting begin!


59. Dvein’s music video for The Vein (May 2013, February 2010)

KA: …yup. I still love drugs.


art blog - Marc Quinn - empty kingdom

60. Marc Quinn (February 2013)


art blog - Maria Rubinke - empty kingdom

61. Maria Rubinke (May 2013)

OK: I’m starting to wonder if Maria used to do this when she was once little.


art blog - Marilyn Minter - empty kingdom

62. Marilyn Minter (April 2013, June 2011)


art blog - Maskull Lasserre - empty kingdom

63. Maskull Lasserre (July 2013, February 2013)

OK: What kind of art form can be any more natural than this?


art blog - Michael Page - empty kingdom

64. Michael Page ★12 (November 2013, May 2012, December 2010)

KA: Yes. I love drugs…still.
OK: My mind is a mess.


art blog - Michael Reedy - empty kingdom

65. Michael Reedy (December 2013, January 2011)


art blog - Michael Ward - empty kingdom

66. Michael Ward (October 2013)

BA: Surreal, colorful, modern americana? Yes, please.


art blog - Mu Pan - empty kingdom

67. Mu Pan (March 2013, January 2012)



art blog - Natalia Fabia - empty kingdom

68. Natalia Fabia (December 2013, February 2012, August 2010)


art blog - Nicole Andrijevic & Tanya Schultz - empty kingdom

69. Nicole Andrijevic & Tanya Schultz (April 2013)

KA: “Baby, hand me $100 bill to roll up. I’m going to be busy for the next few…days.”


art blog - Paul Fryer - empty kingdom

70. Paul Fryer (September 2013)

OK: Satan would be proud.
KA: Or he’d be disappointed that he got caught in some rope inside a church HAHA!


art blog - Perttu Saksa - empty kingdom

71. Perttu Saksa (November 2013)

KA: What’s creepier than a monkey wearing dingy clothes with a fucked up doll mask? I don’t know…but the picture of a monkey wearing dingy clothes with a fucked up doll mask is pretty fuckin’ creepy.


art blog - Ramon Maiden - empty kingdom

72. Ramon Maiden (March 2013)


art blog - Rim Lee - empty kingdom

73. Rim Lee (November 2013)


Rogan Brown - Empty Kingdom - Art Blog

74. Rogan Brown (August 2013)


art blog - Sandra Chevrier - empty kingdom

75. Sandra Chevrier (May 2013, March 2013)


art blog - Sascha Braunig - empty kindom

76. Sascha Braunig (January 2013)

KA: …in case someone missed the memo, I’m still very partial to drugs.


art blog - Scott Hove - empty kingdom

77. Scott Hove ★10 (EK Interview: November 2013, May 2013, EK Interview: March 2011, April 2010)


SEOKMIN KO - Empty Kingdom - Art Blog

78. Seokmin Ko (September 2013)


art blog - Seung Mo Park - empty kingdom

79. Seung Mo Park ★12 (December 2013, April 2012)


art blog - Shin Kwang Ho - empty kingdom

80. Shin Kwang Ho (July 2013, April 2013)

KA: I swear…I’m going to own one of his paintings someday…even if I have to kill a man or two or three.
OK: One day Empty Kingdom will feature Mr. Shin in our gallery.


81. Shugo Tokumaru’s music video for Katachi (March 2013, February 2013)


art blog - Silvia Grav - empty kingdom

82. Silvia Grav (August 2013)


art blog - Simon Stålenhag - empty kingdom

83. Simon Stålenhag (November 2013)

KA: Go get’em tiger! Boy versus station wagon…who will win? Stay tuned until next episode. Same bat-time, same bat-channel!


art blog - So Yoon Lym - empty kingdom

84. So Yoon Lym (February 2013)


art blog - Sophie de Oliveira Barata - empty kingdom

85. Sophie de Oliveira Barata (June 2013)

KA: Barata’s work is simply beautiful. Who says art can’t be wearable and functional?


art blog - Svetlana Tiourina - empy kingdom

86. Svetlana Tiourina (May 2013)


87. Tarik Abdel-Gawad + Bradley G. Munkowitz + BOT & DOLLY (October 2013)


art blog - Thierry Cohen - empty kingdom

88. Thierry Cohen (January 2013)

KA: There ain’t no place like the BAY!


Thomas Devaux - Empty Kingdom - Art Blog

89. Thomas Devaux (May 2013)


art blog - Till Rabus - empty kingdom

90. Till Rabus (February 2013, May 2010)

BA: If you can finish eating this in 5 minutes, it’s free.  Otherwise, we add a piece of you to the next offering to Cthulu.


art blog - Tom Eckert - empty kingdom

91. Tom Eckert (July 2013)

KA: A single piece of wood, you say? A SINGLE piece of wood?! It’s artists like Eckert that makes me want to punch a dog in the face for being able to create sculptural pieces like this…out of a single piece of wood.


art blog - Tristram Lansdowne - empty kingdom

92. Tristram Lansdowne (September 2013, November 2011)

OK: Tristram’s work is magic.


art blog - Troels Carlsen - empty kingdom

93. Troels Carlsen (September 2013)


art blog - TrustoCorp - empty kingdom

94. TrustoCorp (May 2013)

KA: I couldn’t have said it better myself.
BA: The hot dog stand could be out of mustard.


art blog - Urs Fischer - empty kingdom

95. Urs Fischer (May 2013)

BA: Artists who create pieces only to destroy them get the ultimate respect.


art blog - Wang Zi Won - empty kingdom

96. Wang Zi Won (April 2013, March 2012)

OK: Modern tranquility.


art blog - Wang2Mu (二木 王) - empty kingdom

97. Wang2Mu (二木王) (June 2013)


art blog - Willy Verginer - empty kingdom

98. Willy Verginer (August 2013, June 2010)


art blog - Zhang Haiying - empty kingdom

99. Zhang Haiying (February 2013)

KA: I absolutely, unequivocally, completely love Haiying’s work that I would happily sacrifice any number of our interns just because.


TOP 100 2013

100. To the hustlers…to the young, to the old, to the ones rekindling their passion with the arts….To the art students, to the art school dropouts, to the ones lost in the world only knowing that what feels right is creating art…We dedicate the 100th spot for you. Staying on the hustle to hone your craft is the only thing standing between you and your dreams, the truth, the only thing that makes you feel alive. There’s nothing more beautiful and frightening than a black canvas, piece of paper, or wall staring back at you. Attack the shit out of it to feed your soul because true success doesn’t come easy. We at EK do what we do because we love art. Do what you need to do to create great art. Stay on the hustle.



★10 = Denotes artist who previously made the EK TOP 100 of 2010
★11 = Denotes artist who previously made the EK TOP 100 of 2011
★12 = Denotes artist who previously made the EK TOP 100 of 2012

– 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 authors who decided to put this list together: Bunnyman, okmarzo, the blind architect, P1XELATED, Konahrtist