What Do the Top 300 Artist Searches on artnet Reveal?

Erotica and blue-chip artists were on the mind.

Banksy Kate, London (2005). Photo: Courtesy of Galerie Kronsbein, Munich.
View of atmosphere at the Michael Dweck exhibition opening at Staley Wise Gallery on December 8, 2011 in New York City.  Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images.

View of atmosphere at the Michael Dweck exhibition opening at Staley Wise Gallery on December 8, 2011 in New York City. Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images.

Every month thousands of users visit the artnet artist pages searching for information about their favorite artists. artnet News analyzed the results for the month of May to see what they reveal about the state of the art market, and what it says about today’s popular artists.

Those who made it to the top 10 are hardly surprising. They include three photographers known primarily for their depictions of female nudes, including the number one most-searched artist Nobuyoshi Araki, the Japanese photographer who revels in bondage imagery. Michael Dweck occupies the number two spot, and is known for his erotic Americana photography. New entrant Randall Slavin inched to the fourth slot after he made headlines in May for his nude photographs of Entourage actress Emmanuelle Chriqui.

The popular and mysterious British street artist Banksy took the number three spot, British pop artist David Spiller occupied number seven, and the popular American photographer Diane Arbus takes eighth place. She is the first woman to make the top 10 list this month. Meanwhile, popular blue-chip artists such as Andy Warhol (5th), Pablo Picasso (6th), Roy Lichtenstein (9th), and Jean-Michel Basquiat (10th) fill out the remaining spots.

A visitor looks at the work of US photographer Diane Arbus at an exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, on September 24, 2012, the final day of the three-month-long retrospective. Courtesy of DAVID GANNON/AFP/GettyImages.

A visitor looks at the work of Diane Arbus at an exhibition at the Martin-Gropius-Bau in Berlin, on September 24, 2012. Courtesy of DAVID GANNON/AFP/GettyImages.

Outside the (somewhat predictable) top 10 some interesting trends emerged. Grayson Perry jumped from 77th to 18th place after making headlines for his latest not-so-subtle criticism of the British financial services industry, where he employed a new phallic ceramic artwork featuring banknotes and the face of the British finance minister George Osborne.

Grayson Perry's Object in Foreground (2016). Photo: ©Grayson Perry and Victoria Miro Gallery, London.

Grayson Perry’s Object in Foreground (2016). Photo: ©Grayson Perry and Victoria Miro Gallery, London.

After being absent from the list between December and April, French 18th century painter Hubert Robert likely experienced the jump to 174th place after the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC announced a major survey of his work, which opens on June 26th.

The record $17.2 million sale of Maurizio Cattelan‘s sculpture of a kneeling Adolph Hitler at Christie’s “Bound to Fail” curated sale may have propelled the Italian artist onto the list (after not even making it on the previous five months). The sale of the sculpture was apparently so inspiring that someone in Basel pulled a stunt and placed a copy of the figurine bearing the likeness of Donald Trump in the bar at the swanky hotel Les Trois Rois.

Maurizio Cattelan, Him (2001)Image: Courtesy of Christie's Images Ltd.

Maurizio Cattelan, Him (2001). Courtesy of Christie’s Images Ltd.

Elsewhere, Mark Bradford made the list (in 296th place) after having been excluded for five months. Searches increased after the painter was selected to represent the United States at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

François Morellet was extensively searched after dying at the age of 90 on May 11, rising to 136th place after having been absent from the list between December and April. And interest in Malian photographer Malick Sidibé spiked at 34th place following his death in April, but subsided again in May.

So, in sum, ruling the month of May for user searches were erotic photography, blue-chip artists, and major exhibition announcements, along with deaths, and high-priced auction lots.

See the list of top artists below:

1. Nobuyoshi Araki

2. Michael Dweck

3. Banksy

4. Randall Slavin

5. Andy Warhol

6. Pablo Picasso

7. David Spiller

8. Diane Arbus

9. Roy Lichtenstein

10. Jean-Michel Basquiat

11. Keith Haring

12. Nan Goldin

13. Jock Sturges

14. Robert Mapplethorpe

15. Marc Chagall

16. Helmut Newton

17. Salvador Dalí

18. Grayson Perry

19. Francesca Woodman

20. Fernando Botero

21. Joan Miró

22. Yayoi Kusama

23. KAWS

24. Victor Vasarely

25. David Hockney

26. Andy Goldsworthy

27. Liu Bolin

28. Wayne Thiebaud

29. Damien Hirst

30. Alexander Calder

31. Shepard Fairey

32. Gerhard Richter

33. Alec Monopoly

34. Takashi Murakami

35. Joel-Peter Witkin

36. Cindy Sherman

37. Bruno Richter

38. Mr. Brainwash

39. Frank Stella

40. Jim Dine

41. Albert Marquet

42. Thomas Ruff

43. Sally Mann

44. Jeff Koons

45. Tanja Playner

46. Bernard Buffet

47. Wolfgang Tillmans

48. Andreas Gursky

49. David Hamilton

50. Alex Katz

51. Sebastião Salgado

52. Christo and Jeanne-Claude

53. Tom Wesselmann

54. Robert Rauschenberg

55. Henri Matisse

56. Francis Bacon

57. Raoul Dufy

58. Niki de Saint Phalle

59. Milo Manara

60. Bettina Rheims

61. Tracey Emin

62. Anselm Kiefer

63. René Gruau

64. Paul Klee

65. Harland Miller

66. Sigmar Polke

67. Emil Nolde

68. Rufino Tamayo

69. Yoshitomo Nara

70. Vik Muniz

71. Fernand Léger

72. Giulio del Torre

73. Peter Max

74. Philip-Lorca diCorcia

75. Robert Longo

76. Ed Ruscha

77. Pierre Soulages

78. Chuck Close

79. William Kentridge

80. Peter Doig

81. Jean Dubuffet

82. Agnes Martin

83. Maurice Utrillo

84. Candida Höfer

85. Josef Albers

86. Konstantin Razumov

87. Kehinde Wiley

88. Georg Baselitz

89. René Magritte

90. Cy Twombly

91. Markus Lüpertz

92. Julian Opie

93. George Grosz

94. Bernd and Hilla Becher

95. Sam Francis

96. Ellsworth Kelly

97. David LaChapelle

98. Lucio Fontana

99. Sol LeWitt

100. Christian Boltanski

101. Tony Cragg

102. Yves Klein

103. Gerda Wegener

104. Joseph Beuys

105. Gregory Crewdson

106. Antoni Tàpies

107. Wassily Kandinsky

108. Swoon

109. Patrick Hughes

110. Egon Schiele

111. Günther Uecker

112. Peter Blake

113. Richard Prince

114. Anish Kapoor

115. Christopher Wool

116. George Condo

117. Thomas Struth

118. Duane Hanson

119. Karel Appel

120. Marina Abramovic

121. Grandma Moses

122. Julian Schnabel

123. Man Ray

124. Peter Beard

125. Bridget Riley

126. Arman

127. Niclas Castello

128. Friedensreich Hundertwasser

129. Robert Motherwell

130. Nick Brandt

131. Bert Stern

132. Lyonel Feininger

133. Raymond Pettibon

134. Pierre-Auguste Renoir

135. Robert Indiana

136. François Morellet

137. Louise Bourgeois

138. Willem de Kooning

139. Alberto Giacometti

140. Otto Dix

141. John Baldessari

142. Helen Frankenthaler

143. Hans Hartung

144. Erwin Wurm

145. Maurice de Vlaminck

146. Henri Cartier-Bresson

147. Claude Monet

148. Barbara Kruger

149. Wolf Kahn

150. Jasper Johns

151. Jean Prouvé

152. Duane Michals

153. Käthe Kollwitz

154. Garry Gross

155. RETNA

156. Jenny Saville

157. Kiki Smith

158. Adrian Ghenie

159. Margaret Keane

160. Max Ernst

161. Ettore Sottsass

162. Mel Ramos

163. Gustav Klimt

164. Saul Leiter

165. Irving Penn

166. Lucian Freud

167. Hiroshi Sugimoto

168. Kees van Dongen

169. Georges Braque

170. John Kacere

171. William Klein

172. Joan Mitchell

173. Shirin Neshat

174. Hubert Robert

175. Massimo Vitali

176. Leng Jun

177. Imi Knoebel

178. Francis Picabia

179. Ernesto Neto

180. James Rosenquist

181. Julie Mehretu

182. Will McBride

183. Miquel Barceló

184. Slim Aarons

185. Basil Blackshaw

186. Janet Fish

187. Deborah Butterfield

188. Milton Avery

189. Herb Ritts

190. Jenny Holzer

191. Andres Serrano

192. Maurizio Cattelan

193. Marisol Escobar

194. Beatriz Milhazes

195. Jackson Pollock

196. Isa Genzken

197. Jean Cocteau

198. Martin Parr

199. Richard Estes

200. Robert Doisneau

201. Igor Mitoraj

202. Kara Walker

203. Daniel Richter

204. Per Kirkeby

205. Yaacov Agam

206. Zao Wou-Ki

207. David Lynch

208. Hans Zatzka

209. Edward Weston

210. Günther Förg

211. Eduardo Chillida

212. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

213. Erwin Olaf

214. Le Corbusier

215. Marilyn Minter

216. Erich Heckel

217. Pierre Bonnard

218. Wifredo Lam

219. Roberto Matta

220. Vernon Ward

221. Donald Judd

222. Ai Weiwei

223. Kazuo Shiraga

224. Heinz Mack

225. Peter Paul Rubens

226. Jacques Adnet

227. Antony Gormley

228. Yue Minjun

229. Pierre et Gilles

230. Olafur Eliasson

231. Gabriel Orozco

232. Walton Ford

233. Ken Price

234. Arnulf Rainer

235. Jeremy Mann

236. Andrew Wyeth

237. James Rizzi

238. Piet Mondrian

239. Otto Piene

240. Daido Moriyama

241. Max Bill

242. Henry Moore

243. Harding Meyer

244. Paul Jenkins

245. Romero Britto

246. Jean Tinguely

247. Itzchak Tarkay

248. Lucien Clergue

249. Richard Serra

250. Malick Sidibé

251. Max Pechstein

252. Neo Rauch

253. Sean Scully

254. Amedeo Modigliani

255. Gio Ponti

256. Oskar Kokoschka

257. Richard Diebenkorn

258. Franz Kline

259. Mark Ryden

260. Stephan Balkenhol

261. Frida Kahlo

262. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff

263. Cecilia Paredes

264. A.R. Penck

265. Charlotte Perriand

266. Annie Leibovitz

267. Brice Marden

268. Allen Jones

269. William Wegman

270. Thomas Hart Benton

271. Bill Henson

272. William Eggleston

273. Georges Rouault

274. Russell Young

275. Walasse Ting

276. Jesús Rafael Soto

277. Jean Paul Riopelle

278. Eric Fischl

279. Eugène Boudin

280. Lee Ufan

281. Giorgio de Chirico

282. Edgar Degas

283. Rosemarie Trockel

284. Marino Marini

285. Elger Esser

286. Joseph Kosuth

287. Elliott Erwitt

288. Gordon Parks

289. Elizabeth Catlett

290. Rainer Fetting

291. Jörg Immendorff

292. David Nash

293. Louis Majorelle

294. Marie Laurencin

295. Franz West

296. Mark Bradford

297. Philip Guston

298. Alvar Aalto

299. Max Le Verrier

300. Manolo Valdés

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