Björk and Chris Ofili Are Among Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People


The annual TIME 100 list of the world’s most influential people is out, and it will surely spark debate and conversation about who does and doesn’t deserve to be there, and who’s missing. For starters—since when was Martha Stewart a friend of Kim K? And has Kardashian really earned a place on the list?

Along with the usual suspects like world leaders, politicians, human rights crusaders and business innovators, artists of all stripes appear, including musicians, actors, and filmmakers. The lone visual artist in the roundup is Turner Prize–winning artist Chris Ofili, who recently had a solo show at New York’s New Museum (see Chris Ofili’s Glittering, Dung-Encrusted Paintings Return to New York).

For each person on the list, there’s a blurb written by a close friend or collaborator to justify the pick. Ghanaian-British Architect David Adjaye, who collaborated on The Upper Room with Ofili (an art installation that attracted controversy when the Tate purchased it), praises the artist’s ability to “speak about contemporary issues through the romance of painting.”

Ofili’s work has come under fire for its provocative use of materials, for example elephant dung in a depiction of a black Virgin Mary. Adjaye defends it by saying that Ofili “positioned himself as an artist who could redefine art practice by affirming the relevance of painting for the 21st century.”

Performance artist Marina Abramović is enlisted to testify for Icelandic songstress Björk, whose current show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art garnered lots of attention, not of the kind you necessarily want (see Ladies and Gentlemen, the Björk show at MoMA Is Bad, Really Bad).

Abramović shines the spotlight on Björk’s innovative and idiosyncratic approach to her craft, and rightly so; even the show’s most vociferous critics agreed that the singer wasn’t the problem. In fact, many agreed that the poorly curated show did little justice to Björk’s work itself (see The 6 Best Takedowns of MoMA’s Appalling Björk Show).

Abramović praises the singer’s “courage to be [herself]” and calls her timeless in the sense that although “she’s always on the edge of everything” she isn’t “trendy” because she “offers her own, deeply personal world” to the viewer.

To decide whether you agree with the picks, see the full list here.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics