(Photo by: berserker / Steve Skafte )
Within the hallowed halls of Empty Kingdom, our contributors tend to be very proud about the art that we curate. I wouldn’t say it’s a competition to put up the best artists, but when someone finds a really good artist first, we usually compliment each other with “Dammit!!!” or “Bastard who stole my post.”
In a loving way, of course.
When it came to doing an “end of the year” type collection, most sites like to do a Top 10 type thing. We tried that but failed miserably because we realized all of our artists are so damned good. It was unfair and literally impossible to try to pare it down to ten artists out of almost 1,500 posts.
In the end, we decided we would compile no fewer then one hundred artists that blew our minds.
Our formula for judging the work was: Personal Taste + Technical Skill + Creativity + Subject Matter / Message + Body of work = Selection, with the weight of each depending on the artist and category.
Let us fully acknowledge that 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.* And in the end, we could not decide on the 100th artist because for every single artist we named, there would be another we felt was equally as good or better. It went on forever, and continues to do so.
So in honor of all the artists we featured on the site, the 100th spot has been left blank, and if you think you should’ve been on the list, then yes it is for you. And don’t hate us, we will continue to follow every artist and all will have an equal chance in 2011. 🙂
Feel free to debate and malign the list if you want, but we dare any of you to try going through every single one of our 1,465 posts in 2010 to fairly decide on your favorite 100. Then you’ll see how hard it is, and why we took a month to do it.
(Originally posted January 31, 2011)
And now, the EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 Artists of 2010 in alphabetical order:
1. AJ Fosik
BM: This just makes me giggle.
KA: I need to learn how to swim just in case something like this ever happens. At least I know how to get out of a sinking car thanks to the MYTHBUSTERS!
OK: Every image Alex Prager executes finishes with a surreal cinematic experience.
3. Alex Welsh
BM: Really interesting and nice guy, Mr. Welsh is. Being a SF/Bay guy, I think he captured something few have gotten out of Hunters Point, if ever.
KA: A lot of people tend to overlook the actual lives of the individuals that populate many inner-city urban neighborhoods. I agree that Welsh captured a small glimpse into the world of the people who inhabit the area which easily falls victim to bad press and a general negative stigma that alienates them from outsiders.
OK: There is a dry lonesomeness that makes my heart wanting for more. Alison Scarpulla has a personal approach that makes everybody wonder.
OK: These sculptures we’re made out of paper. Enough said.
6. Alyssa Monks
KA: Truly an amazing oil painter I must say.
7. Andrew Lucas
OK: The thing about Andrew Lucas that tickles my fancy is that how he has a skill to portray a sexual sensuality that feels so cinematic.
8. Ann He
BM: Yes, this is still one of the coolest film related sites.
10. Bill Durgin
OK: Bill Durgin lets us everyday people realize that we’d all want to be normal like his sculptures.
11. Blanq World
OK: Please design my office.
13. Chen Wenling
BM: The sheer scale and power is breathtaking. Also, I love fart clouds.
KA: …like the fart clouds you leave behind all throughout the EK office.
BM: Dayam, why you gotta bust me out like that in front of everyone? -Yea I’m the office farter.
14. Claudio Oliverio
BM: These are like our Empty Kingdom family portraits.
15. Conor Harrington
BM: Where did I first discover this guy? I think Juxtapoz. He’s damn good at what he does.
BM: We have tapes of him somewhere in our archives. Really nice guy.
OK: When I look at all of Coro’s paintings you realize that you’re not just looking at his scenery, but you really look close to his actual paint.
BM: Reminds me of my Middle School High days.
BM: Where the fuck am I????? WHY AM I GREEN!!!!!!!!????????
21. Denis Peterson
BM: We love you Denis Peterson.
22. Derek Gores
BM: This guy is so cool. My dream is to send him a years worth of EK Magazines and have him make something for us. Wait, what magazine?
23. Elle Muliarchyk
OK: Through the eyes of a normal viewer people may or not realize how Ellen portrays all of her work nice and wide but with her talent she draws you into her subject every single time.
BM: Erin is young and super talented, which is a good reason to hate her, if you’re a hater. I’m not. But I do love her photos and her direction.
OK: Everyone at Empty Kingdom is excited about her promising future. I can’t believe all the talent and creativity she portrays at such a young age.
26. Fan Xiaoyan
BM: When the world goes Madmax, I’m hiring this guy to help design my battlecar. Assuming he’s not a mutant by then.
KA: Then there’s the other freakish chance that Xiaoyan could just kidnap us in order to turn us into his human weapon dolls (if in fact he becomes some sort of twisted mutant or just went insane from the apocalypse), outfitting our cut-off limbs with weaponized mechanical parts…Yeah, I like your battle vehicle idea more.
OK: I mean c’mon how could somebody attack that thing?!
OK: I think most of us at the EK Embassy is actually intimated to write anything about Federico. Your work is honestly indescribable, I’m speechless.
BM: Yea marzo is the dark prince in our family.
OK: If you notice our collection of photographers, a lot of them are Chinese. There are so many young talented photographers coming out of China. ƒenk has an organic style, yet a rare atmospheric surreal touch.
29. Francoise Nielly
OK: Mr. Fontenoy is probably one of the most original artists that really portray a Chris Cunningham style where Chris Cunningham is jealous of…
Editor: We must make a special note that Mr. Fontenoy has nothing to do with Chris Cunningham, and we do not seriously compare their work as they are two different artists with unique visions of their own.
31. Gao Brothers
BM: Why they gotta pick on the white girl?
OK: My thoughts are inappropriate.
KA: My mind was definitely fucked by this movie…drunken one-night-stand style with no phone call the next day.
BM: I’m going to go ahead and note that this film, while not as good as Irreversible… (and features horrible acting by first-timers) -has been included in the list because of it’s visual achievements in both the opening sequence and in the film itself.
OK: Gaspar’s latest film cannot be touched.
33. Gehard Demetz
KA: First obtain a mansion, then obtain one of Demetz’s pieces.
BM: …and then race around the house in our super gokarts. We should probably put bumpers around his pieces.
Click to view the 360 Degree Spherical Panorama Preview (QTVR).
34. Gilles Tran
BM: This guy made a 3D world for us to enjoy. He should get on the next fifth element movie, he has it down.
KA: Dirty, dirty boy.
35. Gregor Gaida
BM: Well, are you gonna cross the line…or ain’t ya?
36. Gregory Crewdson
BM: Talented Mr.
BM: Tie-dye my soul to Heaven, please.
OK: I’m loving the boots.
38. 美撒 GUO
OK: 美撒 GUO’s photo journalistic style of women stretches to an extent where us viewers’ mouths are watering for more.
OK: Hasisi Park is not just a stand alone photographer, but she is a photographer that helped all the independent photographers follow her new wave. But lately she seems busy with all the attention she’s been getting. Eventually she’ll show the world the new vision we hope to see, breathe, and feel.
40. Hengki Koentjoro
BM: Discovered this guy at White Walls. Or was it Shooting Gallery? Either way, he’s sick.
44. Istvan Sandorfi
45. Itsuki Takashi
OK: My penis says, “I Love You”.BM: Like I said, the dark prince.
BM: I think everyone in the universe knows who JJenius is. But does everyone know that he can play the trumpet with soul? Fo sho.
47. Jamie Salmon
BM: His work is so freaky cool. What to do what to do
KA: This is an art installation that I definitely have to see for myself before I die. The only thing is…I have to learn how to swim first. No lie.
BM: Can’t be a Navy Seal without getting wet first.
49. Jenny Holzer
BM: This lady knows how to spit game. I think she should be a rapper. She’s like, way smarter then the average rapper, but she’s got that fire. She also knows how to leave a mark.
50. Jenny Saville
KA: Man…that way that Saville is able to portray the surface of the skin is grotesquely beautiful, especially in her depiction of female trauma victims. It’s almost sickening, you know?
51. Jeremy Geddes
BM: Me likes.
KA: Kudos to JR for his 2010 TED AWARD!
BM: Do something naked.
53. Jung Yeon Min
BM: Is it me, or does this artist just make me want to do acid while eating mushrooms stuffed with ecstasy?
KA: All the while getting my hair did.
KA: Powerful images.
BM: Really deep and serious photos.
BM: *editors note* -comment has been deleted.
56. Kim Cogan
BM: Kim Cogan is a really cool, chill guy…who also surfs.
57. Kris Kuksi
BM: Another artist whose work I’d love to own.
58. Lee Price
BM: Great series of women trapped by their eating habits/addictions. I’m trapped by my addiction to Art. Or am I freed?
OK: Just to let you know this is a painting.
BM: She is so rad.
60. Liu Bolin
BM: What a talented bastard.
OK: Liu Bolin you sexy bastard.
BM: If I was stranded and starving on an island, I still wouldn’t eat one of these things. Unless I had Ketchup.
62. Marina Bychkova
BM: Soooo cool!
OK: Beyond the craft and technique of this artist, the modeler shows the pureness through each of his crafted models that should probably excite other artists.
BM: A great doc, a compelling story, and a really cool filmmaker.
64. MAX Capacity
65. Mi Ju
BM: Mi Ju! Too cool. Definitely will have to own one of her pieces some day. Also, despite what you might think, she doesn’t do drugs. And yet she’s still very cool.
66. Miru Kim
BM: Miru has the distinct ability to take what might be a kitsch idea and making it really legit. Also, a TED presenter, which pretty much legitimizes her coolness.
KA: Indeed, indeed.
BM: These guys have been pumping out awesome movie posters for a minute now. No response to interview requests, so somebody email them this list and ask them whyyyy?
68. Monica Cook
BM: Monica Cook has officially blown me away.
OK: Monica Cook you’re disgustingly impressive…get out of here.
69. Niklas Lundberg
BM: Great execution for sure.
74. Pieter Hugo
KA: So badass…
BM: Oh my god I want to be this photographer.
OK: One day before one of the Co-Founders of Empty Kingdom commit suicide we will hopefully have our own photo shoot but with TIGERS.
BM: …I’m guessing that’s how we end up committing suicide?
KA: Death by tigers, eh?
BM: This dude looks like he’s ready to let a mean fart go. Speaking of astronauts and farts -how horrible must it be for spacemen to be trapped inside their suits with their farts for days on end?
76. Rikki Kasso
KA: I still can’t remember when and where I came across Kasso’s work, but I love this man.
OK: We are finally getting towards the end of the list and with my last remark on any of our several beautiful artists, Rikki Kasso is an artist that really discovered the artistry that doesn’t just depict nudity, but an art form that gives our broader senses photo journalistic touch that feels all too real.
BM: Rob Duncan is a really cool guy, look for his interview upcoming.
BM: Lighty boxes
79. Ron Mueck
KA: Good Lord, that’s a giant head. There’s a “that’s-what-she-said” joke opportunity there.
BM: That’s what she said!
80. Ronit Baranga
KA: Gorgeously creepy…
BM: Creepily Gorgeous.
81. Ryan McGinley
OK: A Beautiful Artist.
BM: And you’re a beautiful man.
82. Sam Jinks
83. Sandy Kim
KA: Sandy Kim, I love you…blood and all.
BM: I think I can guarantee you that this girl is probably crazy. Mostly I can say this because she’s a Korean girl, and that pretty much certifies you as psychotic. But I say this in a loving way.
84. Satoshi Kon
KA: I swear Paprika was the original Inception, or at least a big influence for that matter.
BM: Better then Inception.
OK: Satoshi Kon has blessed us with untouchable vision and imagery. The King shall Rest In Peace. From Perfect Blue to Paprika, his body of work is timeless.
85. Scott Hove
BM: Mr. Krueger was the lone artist who made this list AND was statistically one of the top 5 views on the site…so I guess you can call him the reader’s and editor’s choice artist.
87. Shohei Otomo
KA: This guy has the right idea. This is Tuesday night’s at the EK office led by our very own, okmarzo.
BM: I like his art/style so much I want to stab him.
88. Takato Yamamoto
89. Terry Rodgers
KA: Terry Rodgers is one of those artist that makes me want to punch a dog in the back of the head because he’s so talented.
BM: Terry is a super cool and really intelligent artist who, to me, was the best combo of technical skill and social insight out of the artists we’ve put on the site so far. But that’s debatable of course, and I am only but one lonely man.
90. Tetsuya Ishida
KA: Dear sweet filthy world…
BM: These guys do great work and are cool to boot. Some day our sites will be knockin’ boots and make little Empty Porn babies or would it be the Hipster Kingdom?
92. Thom Puckey
BM: When I own my first mansion I’m sure one of his pieces will be in my bedroom.
KA: Ditto! I definitely want a Puckey sculpture piece for my collection! It’s MARBLE, son, MARBLE!
OK: Why is this not in our cafeteria? Someone’s fired…
93. Tom Gallant
BM: Dirty bastard. Enjoy it.
BM: Really enjoy this photographer.
96. Will Cotton
BM: The story here is not the most developed, but damn did he pull it off with style.
98. Yoshi Sodeoka
99. Zhou Fan
BM: This pretty much sums up how I feel about life.
KA: Word. This is how I feel on Tuesdays.
100. All the other artists featured on EMPTY KINGDOM throughout this past 2010 year.
*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, Konahrtist, and okmarzo.