EMPTY KINGDOM TOP 100 Artists of 2010

(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:

art blog - AJ Fosik - empty kingdom top 100

1. AJ Fosik

BM: This just makes me giggle.

art blog - Alex Prager - empty kingdom top 100

2. Alex Prager PART I, PART II

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.

art blog - Alex Welsh - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Alison Scarpulla - empty kingdom top 100

4. Alison Scarpulla

OK: There is a dry lonesomeness that makes my heart wanting for more. Alison Scarpulla has a personal approach that makes everybody wonder.

art blog - Allen & Patty Eckman - empty kingdom top 100

5. Allen & Patty Eckman

OK: These sculptures we’re made out of paper.  Enough said.

art blog - Alyssa Monks - empty kingdom top 100

6. Alyssa Monks

KA: Truly an amazing oil painter I must say.

art blog - Andrew Lucas - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Ann He - empty kingdom top 100

8. Ann He

art blog - Art of the Title - empty kingdom top 100

9. Art of the Title

BM: Yes, this is still one of the coolest film related sites.

art blog - Bill Durgin - empty kingdom

10. Bill Durgin

OK: Bill Durgin lets us everyday people realize that we’d all want to be normal like his sculptures.

art blog - Blanq World - empty kingdom top 100

11. Blanq World

art blog - Carnovsky (Francesco Rugi and Silvia Quintanilla) - empty kingdom top 100

12. Carnovsky (Francesco Rugi and Silvia Quintanilla)

OK: Please design my office.

art blog - Chen Wenling - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Claudio Oliverio - empty kingdom top 100

14. Claudio Oliverio

BM: These are like our Empty Kingdom family portraits.

art blog - Conor Harrington - empty kingdom top 100

15. Conor Harrington

BM: Where did I first discover this guy? I think Juxtapoz. He’s damn good at what he does.

art blog - CORO - empty kingdom top 100

16. CORO

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.

art blog - Damian Nenow Paths of Hate - empty kingdom top 100

17. Damian Nenow – Paths of Hate

BM: Sskkeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrr-RRRattta-tatatattta-tttaattata-VVeeeeeeeeevvvrroooooommmm!!

art blog - Dan Black and Wes Winship - empty kingdom top 100

18. Dan Black and Wes Winship

art blog - Dan Witz - empty kingdom top 100

19. Dan Witz PART I, PART II

BM: Reminds me of my Middle School High days.

art blog - David Benjamin Sherry - empty kingdom top 100

20. David Benjamin Sherry

BM: Where the fuck am I?????  WHY AM I GREEN!!!!!!!!????????

art blog - Denis Peterson - empty kingdom top 100

21. Denis Peterson

BM: We love you Denis Peterson.

art blog - Derek Gores - empty kingdom top 100

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?

art blog - Elle Muliarchyk - empty kingdom top 100

23. Elle Muliarchyk

art blog - Ellen Rogers - empty kingdom top 100

24. Ellen Rogers PART I, PART II

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.

art blog - Erin Mulvehill - empty kingdom top 100

25. Erin Mulvehill INTERVIEW

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.

art blog - Fan Xiaoyan - empty kingdom

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?!

art blog - Federico Bebber - empty kingdom top 100

27. Federico Bebber, INTERVIEW

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.

art blog - fenk - empty kingdom top 100

28. ƒenk

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.

art blog - Francoise Nielly - empty kingdom

29. Francoise Nielly

art blog - Frédéric Fontenoy - empty kingom top 100

30. Frédéric Fontenoy

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.

art blog - Gao Brothers - empty kingdom top 100

31. Gao Brothers

BM: Why they gotta pick on the white girl?


OK: My thoughts are inappropriate.

art blog - Gaspar Noé Enter the Void - empty kingdom top 100

32. Gaspar Noé – Enter the Void PART I, PART II, PART III

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.

art blog - Gehard Demetz - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Gilles Tran - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Gregor Gaida - empty kingdom top 100

35. Gregor Gaida

BM: Well, are you gonna cross the line…or ain’t ya?

art blog - Gregory Crewdson - empty kingdom top 100

36. Gregory Crewdson

BM: Talented Mr.

art blog - Guerra De La Paz (Alain GUERRA and Neraldo DE LA PAZ) - empty kingdom top 100

37. GUERRA DE LA PAZ (Alain GUERRA and Neraldo DE LA PAZ)

BM: Tie-dye my soul to Heaven, please.

OK: I’m loving the boots.

art blog - 美撒 GUO - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Hasisi Park - empty kingdom top 100

39. Hasisi Park PART I, PART II, PART III

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.

art blog - Hengki Koentjoro - empty kingdom

40. Hengki Koentjoro

art blog - hui+ - empty kingdom top 100

41. hui+

art blog - Hush - empty kingdom top 100

42. Hush

BM: Discovered this guy at White Walls. Or was it Shooting Gallery? Either way, he’s sick.

art blog - Ian Kim - empty kingdom


art blog - Istvan Sandorfi - empty kingdom top 100

44. Istvan Sandorfi

art blog - Itsuki Takashi - empty kingdom top 100

45. Itsuki Takashi

OK: My penis says, “I Love You”.BM: Like I said, the dark prince.

art blog - James Jean - empty kingdom top 100

46. James Jean PART I, PART II

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.

art blog - Jamie Salmon - empty kingdom top 100

47. Jamie Salmon

BM: His work is so freaky cool.  What to do what to do

art blog - Jason deCaires - empty kingdom top 100

48. Jason deCaires Taylor

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.

art blog - Jenny Holzer - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Jenny Saville - empty kingdom top 100

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?

art blog - Jeremy Geddes - empty kingdom top 100

51. Jeremy Geddes

BM: Me likes.

art blog - JR - empty kingdom top 100


KA: Kudos to JR for his 2010 TED AWARD!

BM: Do something naked.

art blog - Jung Yeon Min - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - KATRINA - empty kingdom top 100

54. Telling Their Stories: KATRINA

KA: Powerful images.

BM: Really deep and serious photos.

art blog - Kent Williams - empty kingdom top 100

55. Kent Williams PART I, PART II

BM: *editors note* -comment has been deleted.

art blog - Kim Cogan - empty kingdom top 100

56. Kim Cogan

BM: Kim Cogan is a really cool, chill guy…who also surfs.

art blog - Kris Kuksi - empty kingdom top 100

57. Kris Kuksi

BM: Another artist whose work I’d love to own.

art blog - Lee Price - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Lina Scheynius - empty kingdom top 100

59. Lina Scheynius PART I, PART II, PART III

BM: She is so rad.

art blog - Liu Bolin - empty kingdom top 100

60. Liu Bolin

BM: What a talented bastard.

OK: Liu Bolin you sexy bastard.

art blog - Ludoviande - empty kingdom top 100

61. Ludovic Levasseur

KA: Mmmmm…

BM: If I was stranded and starving on an island, I still wouldn’t eat one of these things. Unless I had Ketchup.

art blog - Marina Bychkova - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Mark Hogancamp - empty kingdom top 100

63. MARWENCOL (Mark Hogancamp and Jeff Malmberg)

BM: A great doc, a compelling story, and a really cool filmmaker.

art blog - MAX Capacity - empty kingdom top 100

64. MAX Capacity

art blog - Mi Ju - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Miru Kim - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Mondo - empty kingdom top 100

67. Mondo

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?

art blog - Monica Cook - empty kingdom top 100

68. Monica Cook

BM: Monica Cook has officially blown me away.

OK: Monica Cook you’re disgustingly impressive…get out of here.

art blog - Niklas Lundberg - empty kingdom top 100

69. Niklas Lundberg

art blog - One More Productions La Gaîté Lyrique - empty kingdom top 100

70. One More Productions – La Gaîté Lyrique

art blog - Page. The Magazine - empty kingdom top 100

71. Page. The Magazine

BM: Great execution for sure.

art blog - Patrick Jean PIXELS - empty kingdom top 100

72. Patrick Jean – PIXELS

art blog - Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson INFLUENCERS - empty kingdom top 100

73. Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson – Influencers PART I, PART II

art blog - Pieter Hugo - empty kingdom top 100

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?

art blog - Richard Selesnick and Nicholas Kahn - empty kingdom top 100

75. Richard Selesnick and Nicholas Kahn

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?

art blog - Rikki Kasso - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Rob Duncan - empty kingdom top 100

77. Dowling Duncan (Rob Duncan and Crew)

BM: Rob Duncan is a really cool guy, look for his interview upcoming.

art blog - Rogier Vd Zwaa Grindin' - empty kingdom top 100

78. Rogier Vd Zwaa – Grindin’

BM: Lighty boxes

art blog - Ron Mueck - empty kingdom top 100

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!

art blog - Ronit Baranga - empty kingom top 100

80. Ronit Baranga

KA: Gorgeously creepy…

BM: Creepily Gorgeous.

art blog - Ryan McGinley - empty kingdom top 100

81. Ryan McGinley

OK: A Beautiful Artist.

BM: And you’re a beautiful man.

art blog - Sam Jinks - empty kingdom top 100

82. Sam Jinks

art blog - Sandy Kim - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Satoshi Kon - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Scott Hove - empty kingdom top 100

85. Scott Hove

art blog - Sebastian Krueger - empty kingdom top 100

86. Sebastian Krueger

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.

art blog - Shohei Otomo - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Takato Yamamoto - empty kingdom top 100

88. Takato Yamamoto

OK: ….

art blog - Terry Rodgers - empty kingdom top 100

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.

art blog - Tetsuya Ishida - empty kingdom top 100

90. Tetsuya Ishida

KA: Dear sweet filthy world…

art blog - That Hipster Porn - empty kingdom top 100


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?

art blog - Thom Puckey - empty kingdom top 100

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…

art blog - Tom Gallant - empty kingdom top 100

93. Tom Gallant

art blog - Vania Zouravliov - empty kingdom top 100

94. Vania Zouravliov PART I, PART II

BM: Dirty bastard. Enjoy it.

art blog - Waldemar Hansson - empty kingdom top 100

95. Waldemar Hansson PART I, PART II

BM: Really enjoy this photographer.

art blog - Will Cotton - empty kingdom top 100

96. Will Cotton

art blog - Yang Fudong First Spring - empty kingdom top 100

97. Yang Fudong – First Spring

BM: The story here is not the most developed, but damn did he pull it off with style.

art blog - Yoshi Sodeoka - empty kingdom top 100

98. Yoshi Sodeoka

art blog - Zhou Fan - empty kingdom top 100

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.