From up-and-coming artists who are emerging on to the scene to established creatives who are increasing in global popularity, we look at five artists every art-enthusiasts should follow in 2022.
Born in Texas in 1980, Dawn Okoro creates bold and vibrant artworks that explore ideas of social identity through colour, composition, and texture. Channelling her Nigerian heritage and a sense of displacement from her homeland, her vivid paintings examine the use of commercial imagery by suspending compositions taken from fashion illustrations in negative space. Maddox is incredibly excited to announce that in early 2022, we will be hosting Okoro’s first ever solo show in the United Kingdom, taking her career Trans-Atlantic and offering an exclusive opportunity to see her work in London.
With experts prediciting a return to representational painting in 2022, thanks to both a number of high-level figurative exhibitions opening in museums across the world in the early months of the year and the need to take advantage of the emotional capabilities of painting post-pandemic, Okoro's exhibition is set to be a hit. Using her art to critically examine the experiences (interior and exterior) that have shaped her life thus far, Okoro's moving paintings allow the viewer to connect with another person's lived experiences - an opportunity that is now more essential than ever due to the isolation experienced as a result of the pandemic.
Known for his polymorph designs, Lefty Out There is a pioneering multidisciplinary artist and illustrator. Covering the world with his distinctive mark-making designs, Lefty’s goal is to ‘cover everything’. Launching his career as a street artist in the city of Chicago, the artist’s current practice fuses the craft of graffiti with technologically advanced processes like LED boxes, computers and laser cutters. His ambitious murals and daring canvases have caught the attention of prestigious brands across the globe including Nike, Adidas, Facebook and Google.
Over the past decade, demand for street art by collectors has been unparalleled thanks to the rise of anonymous street artist, Banksy. This propelling urge for the genre has been coined the Banksy Effect - with experts seeing previously unknown street artists like Invader and STIK rising to recognisition and going under the hammer for hundreds of thousaund pounds at auction.
As demand for the genre continues and the prices of Banksy's rise, there is a greater appetite for emerging street artists, who represent the future of genre at a more affordable price. With his work spanning across Europe, Asia and America, we are excited to welcome Lefty next year to exhibit his bold and intricate designs in London, offering his work to a whole new market.
With popularity for street art at an all-time high, as a result of the Banksy Effect, Invader is set to gain even more popularity in 2022. The anonymous French street artist is known for his global ‘invasions’ of public spaces, creating 8-bit mosaics featuring an array of pixelated aliens that resemble 1980s video game graphics.
This year, the artist was incredibly successful, with collectors and critics taking note of his art across the world. According to ArtPrice, Invader's index doubled from 2020 to 2021, with the median price that his artwork achieved at auction being twice that the amount garnered last year. Throughout the year, the artist also created new artworks, ‘invading’ more cities including Manchester and Marseille, showing that his career is just beginning. With appetite for both the genre of street art and more specifically his work increasing, he is definitely an artist to watch in 2022.
INVADER, ALADDIN SANE BLINKY (PINK), 2014
KAWS has been around since the 1990s and has already established himself a large and loyal collector base, including celebrity art-enthusiasts like Justin Bieber, Beyoncé and Jay-Z, Drake and Kylie Jenner. However, just because KAWS has been on the art scene for a long time does not mean by any means that appetite for his work is on the decline.
In fact, in 2021, both the volume of his artworks offered and sold at auction increased in comparison to the previous three years. In terms of sales, KAWS was the most sold contemporary artist in the last year, selling over 1,682 lots between October 2020 and October 2021, ahead of both Murakami and Banksy. With many of KAWS' most iconic works currently for sale on the secondary market, there seems no better time to purchase an artwork by the maverick creative who continues to entertain the art industry thirty years on. With artist gaining such success at auction in 2021, 2022 will undoubtedly be a great year for the urban artist.
Emerging on the art scene in 2018, Cooper is a Los Angeles based artist who paints nature-inspired canvases. Utilising a diverse and vibrant palette, the vivid colours Cooper uses are reminiscent 1990s post-Modernist pop, with the artist taking inspiration from David Hockney and Jonas Wood. Although only in his twenties, the artist has already exhibited in shows and art fairs across America including in Miami, New York and Los Angeles.
With the art world taking a revived interest in figurative art, both Cooper's subject matter and vibrant style are the perfect antedote to post-pandemic blues. With physical art fairs and exhibitions seemingly returning to normal, there is no longer a need for art to be digital or to be geared towards digital consumption. Therefore, mediums and styles that are best experienced in real life such as Cooper's bright paintings can once again flourish and are in higher demand than ever. With the artist's radiant canvases marking a distinctive difference from other emerging figurative artists, the confines of Cooper’s career are boundless.