Banksy and Araki Top artnet’s Top 300 List of the Internet’s Most Popular Artists

Who else made the list?

banksy-with-syria

Banksy’s “#WithSyria” image.
Image: via Twitter.

According to the official artnet Top 300, Banksy, the beloved anonymous British street artist, has received the most page visits of any artist listing on the site for six months in a row.

This hardly surprising, given his popularity and ability to generate headlines over the smallest incidents.

Japanese artist Nobuyoshi Araki unseated Andy Warhol for the number two slot in September. Araki, who was recently featured in a controversial faux-massage parlor gallery installation in New York, is just one of several unexpected names in the top ten artists searched, which also includes Joel-Peter Witkin (seventh) and Jock Sturges (eighth).

Nobuyoshi Araki, Bondage series (2008). Photo: artnet.

Nobuyoshi Araki, Bondage series (2008).
Photo: artnet.

What do those artists have in common?  Here’s a hint: according to a 2012 study, 30 percent of all internet traffic comes from pornography.

Araki, Witkin, and Sturges, and even the better-known Helmut Netwon and Francesca Woodman (ranked sixth and tenth) are all photographers who often feature nudes in their work. In other words, they may be getting a boost from the scintillating nature of their imagery, rather than their market prowess.

Tracking the search habits of those searching for collecting, rather than recreational purposes, would likely paint a different picture. Indeed, when we limited the results to searches in the artnet Price Database (PDB), Araki and Newton dropped out the top ten entirely. So did Banksy, his celebrity edge effectively erased. Instead, more traditional blue chip artists get the most attention. (For 2014, Warhol, followed by Banksy, topped searches across all of artnet.)

Pablo Picasso, number four on the Top 300, snags the top spot among PDB searches, followed by Warhol and Joan Miró. Roy Lichtenstein, however, ranks high on both lists (fifth overall, and fourth on the PBD), while Damien Hirst and Salvador Dalí, barely outside the top 10 overall at 11th and 12th, respectively, are ranked ninth and tenth according to PDB results.

The fifth through eighth place PDB spots—Marc ChagallAlexander Calder, Gerhard Richter, and Lucio Fontana—all rank much lower among overall searches, clocking in at 19th, 32nd, 21st, and 86th, respectively.

Another difference is that the PDB searches also seem more steady over time: though the order has shifted slightly, the names on the top ten list have remained constant since April. No less than 21 artist have appeared in the Top 300’s top ten over the last six months, including Sally Mann, who has dropped from 10th in June to 35 in September.

Here are the artists on the artnet Top 300:

  1. Banksy
  2. Nobuyoshi Araki
  3. Andy Warhol
  4. Pablo Picasso
  5. Roy Lichtenstein
  6. Helmut Newton
  7. Joel-Peter Witkin
  8. Jock Sturges
  9. Keith Haring
  10. Francesca Woodman
  11. Damien Hirst
  12. Salvador Dalí
  13. Jean-Michel Basquiat
  14. Fernando Botero
  15. Victor Vasarely
  16. Michael Dweck
  17. Wayne Thiebaud
  18. Nan Goldin
  19. Marc Chagall
  20. Joan Miró
  21. Gerhard Richter
  22. Andreas Gursky
  23. Shepard Fairey
  24. Sebastião Salgado
  25. Takashi Murakami
  26. Jim Dine
  27. Frank Stella
  28. David Hockney
  29. Diane Arbus
  30. Alex Katz
  31. Yayoi Kusama
  32. Alexander Calder
  33. Robert Mapplethorpe
  34. Jeff Koons
  35. Sally Mann
  36. Alec Monopoly
  37. Liu Bolin
  38. Tom Wesselmann
  39. Thomas Ruff
  40. Robert Rauschenberg
  41. Mr. Brainwash
  42. Wolfgang Tillmans
  43. Tahia Halim
  44. Jean Dubuffet
  45. Yoshitomo Nara
  46. Ed Ruscha
  47. Gregory Crewdson
  48. Andy Goldsworthy
  49. KAWS
  50. Nick Brandt
  51. Henri Matisse
  52. Francis Bacon
  53. Peter Doig
  54. Cy Twombly
  55. Sol LeWitt
  56. Chuck Close
  57. Maurice Utrillo
  58. Pierre Soulages
  59. Candida Höfer
  60. Cindy Sherman
  61. Anish Kapoor
  62. Raoul Dufy
  63. Robert Longo
  64. Anselm Kiefer
  65. Vik Muniz
  66. Emil Nolde
  67. Niki de Saint Phalle
  68. Georg Baselitz
  69. Niclas Castello
  70. Margaret Keane
  71. Friedensreich Hundertwasser
  72. Garry Gross
  73. John Baldessari
  74. William Kentridge
  75. Bridget Riley
  76. Tony Cragg
  77. Günther Uecker
  78. David Hamilton
  79. Harland Miller
  80. Sigmar Polke
  81. Julian Opie
  82. Tracey Emin
  83. David LaChapelle
  84. Sam Francis
  85. Daniel Richter
  86. Lucio Fontana
  87. Helen Frankenthaler
  88. Fernand Léger
  89. Bert Stern
  90. Josef Albers
  91. Karel Appel
  92. Man Ray
  93. Antoni Tàpies
  94. Grayson Perry
  95. Wolf Kahn
  96. Robert Motherwell
  97. Jasper Johns
  98. Herb Ritts
  99. Louise Bourgeois
  100. Markus Lüpertz
  101. Peter Max
  102. Robert Indiana
  103. Vernon Ward
  104. Christian Boltanski
  105. Hans Zatzka
  106. Ai Weiwei
  107. Egon Schiele
  108. Ellsworth Kelly
  109. Thomas Struth
  110. George Condo
  111. Heinz Mack
  112. Walton Ford
  113. Henri Cartier-Bresson
  114. José Parlá
  115. Käthe Kollwitz
  116. Christopher Wool
  117. Kees van Dongen
  118. Imi Knoebel
  119. Mel Ramos
  120. Hiroshi Sugimoto
  121. Rufino Tamayo
  122. Richard Prince
  123. Raymond Pettibon
  124. Vivian Maier
  125. Swoon
  126. Irving Penn
  127. Maurice de Vlaminck
  128. Ushio Shinohara
  129. Massimo Vitali
  130. Wassily Kandinsky
  131. Dennis Sheehan
  132. Marina Abramovic
  133. RETNA
  134. Yves Klein
  135. Marie Laurencin
  136. Paul Klee
  137. Arman
  138. Julie Mehretu
  139. Jean Paul Riopelle
  140. Janet Fish
  141. Will McBride
  142. James Rizzi
  143. Kiki Smith
  144. William Eggleston
  145. Joseph Beuys
  146. Jackson Pollock
  147. Mike Kelley
  148. Agnes Martin
  149. Barbara Kruger
  150. David Lynch
  151. Piet Mondrian
  152. Grandma Moses
  153. Harding Meyer
  154. Richard Serra
  155. Otto Dix
  156. Stephan Balkenhol
  157. René Magritte
  158. Jenny Holzer
  159. Bahman Mohasses
  160. Pierre Molinier
  161. Kehinde Wiley
  162. Joan Mitchell
  163. Igor Mitoraj
  164. Louise Nevelson
  165. Georges Braque
  166. Willem de Kooning
  167. Max Ernst
  168. Hans Erni
  169. Julian Schnabel
  170. Sean Scully
  171. Hans Hartung
  172. A.R. Penck
  173. Yue Minjun
  174. George Grosz
  175. Lyonel Feininger
  176. Saul Leiter
  177. Richard Estes
  178. Zao Wou-Ki
  179. Brett Whiteley
  180. Neo Rauch
  181. Alberto Giacometti
  182. Royal Dux
  183. Günther Förg
  184. Andrew Wyeth
  185. Lucien Clergue
  186. Slim Aarons
  187. Lucian Freud
  188. Anton Pieck
  189. Kazuo Shiraga
  190. Lee Ufan
  191. Wifredo Lam
  192. James Rosenquist
  193. Jane Peterson
  194. Milo Manara
  195. Jesús Rafael Soto
  196. Milton Avery
  197. Bettina Rheims
  198. Albert Marquet
  199. Martin Parr
  200. Marilyn Minter
  201. Montague Dawson
  202. Jaume Plensa
  203. Riusuke Fukahori
  204. Anton Corbijn
  205. Christo and Jeanne-Claude
  206. Amedeo Modigliani
  207. Russell Young
  208. Richard Diebenkorn
  209. Deborah Butterfield
  210. Jean Prouvé
  211. Gustav Klimt
  212. Itzchak Tarkay
  213. Ernesto Neto
  214. Paul Signac
  215. Frank Gehry
  216. Thomas Hart Benton
  217. Manolo Valdés
  218. Irina Ionesco
  219. Marc Quinn
  220. Mu Boyan
  221. Elger Esser
  222. Roberto Fabelo
  223. Jonathan Meese
  224. Elizabeth Catlett
  225. Claude Monet
  226. Per Kirkeby
  227. Nam June Paik
  228. JonOne
  229. Hieronymus Bosch
  230. Axel Hütte
  231. Le Corbusier
  232. Franz West
  233. Mel Bochner
  234. Andres Serrano
  235. Chris Ofili
  236. Ben Shahn
  237. Pierre Bonnard
  238. Annie Leibovitz
  239. Charlotte Perriand
  240. William Klein
  241. Erwin Olaf
  242. Donald Sultan
  243. Eduardo Chillida
  244. Donald Baechler
  245. Bernar Venet
  246. Nicole Eisenman
  247. Romero Britto
  248. Beatriz Milhazes
  249. Shirin Neshat
  250. Walasse Ting
  251. Donald Judd
  252. Adrian Ghenie
  253. Richard Misrach
  254. Rainer Fetting
  255. Patrick Hughes
  256. Duane Michals
  257. Sean Henry
  258. Elizabeth Peyton
  259. Romare Bearden
  260. Cecilia Paredes
  261. Oscar Murillo
  262. Charles Fazzino
  263. Emmanuel Villanis
  264. Natalia Sergeevna Goncharova
  265. Marcel Dyf
  266. Franz Kline
  267. Bernard Dufour
  268. Erwin Wurm
  269. Jacques Adnet
  270. Edward Burtynsky
  271. Rembrandt van Rijn
  272. Invader
  273. Arnulf Rainer
  274. Otto Piene
  275. Peter Tunney
  276. Séraphine de Senlis
  277. Roberto Matta
  278. Marlene Dumas
  279. Alphonse Mucha
  280. M. C. Escher
  281. Georges Rouault
  282. Bernd Zimmer
  283. Jenny Saville
  284. Aristide Maillol
  285. Ettore Sottsass
  286. Martin Kippenberger
  287. John Chamberlain
  288. Claes Oldenburg
  289. William Wegman
  290. Mark Rothko
  291. Georgia Russell
  292. Mimmo Paladino
  293. Antony Gormley
  294. Andre de Dienes
  295. Adolph Gottlieb
  296. Erich Heckel
  297. Miquel Barceló
  298. Bill Henson
  299. LeRoy Neiman
  300. James Turrell

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