7 Artists to Watch — and Invest in — This Year
Collecting art is more than a hobby. It's also has potential as a long-term investment and is a way to show your support for the global creative community.
By commissioning living artists, you're helping to support the development of the arts. But, if you're not already deeply entrenched in the community, you may not know where to begin on your hunt for the perfect pieces to start your collection. There are plenty of talented names to consider. And to help you get started, we've rounded up seven of the most talked-about artists poised for success in 2022.
Khari Turner's paintings combine abstract elements with figuration to celebrate "Black people as personifications of the magic that is the ocean," as he put it. The Harlem-based artist uses water from oceans, rivers, and lakes with a connection to Black history to create his mesmerizing artworks. And in 2021, collectors certainly took notice. Turner had a sold-out show at Ross-Sutton gallery in Brooklyn, NY, and was one of 22 artists featured at Christie's annual "Say It Loud" auction.
And with his first solo museum show at the Museum of Wisconsin Art slated to open in May in addition to one at CFHILL in Stockholm and a solo presentation at the Venice Biennale, the Milwaukee-native is showing no signs of slowing down.
The work of British-Ugandan contemporary artist Lakwena Maciver stands out with its vibrant colors and bold use of typography (she studied graphic design at the London College of Communication). Her paintings feature inspirational and uplifting messages about "decolonization, redemption, hope, and paradise," according to her Instagram page. Her work has appeared at renowned cultural institutions such as Tate Britain and Southbank Centre in London and a juvenile detention center in Arkansas, along with a monastery in Vienna — further proof of the universal appeal of her art.
Her latest gallery show, "Jump Paintings," just opened at the Vigo Gallery in London and includes a collection of abstract paintings of inspiring basketball players.
Gio Swaby, a Bahamian artist who is currently completing her MFA in Toronto, took the art world by storm. Her colorful stitched and textile portraits often depict female silhouettes celebrating Black womanhood.
Swaby's first solo exhibition at Harlem's Claire Oliver Gallery (which signed her without even meeting her in person) was an instant success with institutional buyers. She is now working on her debut museum exhibit in St. Petersburg, FL, slated to open in May. Her work is understandably in high demand, though — there were more than 100 people on the waiting list in June 2021, according to her gallery.
Sami's fascination with art started in his native Iraq, where he studied drawing and painting at The Institute of Fine Arts in Baghdad. In 2007, he immigrated to Sweden as a refugee following the Iraqi war, which he witnessed first-hand. Later, he continued his education, obtaining a master's degree in London. His artworks indirectly reference trauma and loss as he approaches painting as "an allegorical representation against the striking image of conflict and violence."
In 2021, Sami participated in a show, "Mixing it Up: Painting Today," together with 30 more artists at the Hayward Gallery in London, and later, his work was displayed at Art Basel. He is working on a solo exhibition at Modern Art gallery in London and will also be part of "The London Open 2022," for which he was selected together with 45 other artists from more than 2,600 entries.
Victor Langlois, a.k.a. FEWOCiOUS
When in June 2021, Christie's website crashed due to a large number of bids, it wasn't because buyers were trying to get their hands on a rare Van Gogh or Picasso. It was because of 19-year-old digital artist Victor Langlois, also known as FEWOCiOUS, whose NFT series "Hello, I'm Victor (FEWOCiOUS) and This Is My Life" was up for auction. The five digital pieces that sold for $2,162,500 depict his coming-of-age story and his struggle with gender transition. His vibrant artworks are largely autobiographical — unlike many of the crypto artworks on the market. The Seattle-based artist is now working on "fewo world," a "creative universe" where he plans to share more art.
Texas-born artist Sarah Zapata draws inspiration from her Peruvian heritage to create contemporary, abstract sculptures and rugs using traditional weaving and latch-hook techniques. Her vibrant work deals with "issues of labor, systems of power and control, Queerness, cultural relativism and the intersectionality of identity," according to her website.
In 2021, she participated in three group shows — two in New York and one in Peru, and 2022 will be another busy year for the 34-year-old Zapata. One of her large installations, "a resilience of things not seen," will be displayed at Wisconsin's John Michael Kohler Arts Center, and then she will work on a solo show at Deli Gallery in New York.
Swiss-born artist Nicolas Party's distinct style — his impeccably composed paintings and penchant for highly saturated colors — has made him a darling of both critics and art collectors on both sides of the Atlantic. The 42-year-old Party, who started as a graffiti artist in his native Lausanne, has participated in shows in some of the most renowned museums in the world, such as the M WOODS Museum in Beijing, the Musée Magritte in Brussels, and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C.
In February, his new solo exhibition, "L'heure mauve" at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, will feature more than 100 works, including 20 never-before-seen pieces of watercolors, pastels, and sculptures.
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