Banksy and Araki Top artnet’s Top 300 List of the Internet’s Most Popular Artists
Who else made the list?
Who else made the list?
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.
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).
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 Chagall, Alexander 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: