I’m searching a bit today, trying to reconnect with my inner artist again. My mixed feelings and poor work lately made me rethink me believing in art and myself as a writer. What makes art great? I can cry over a picture painted by my ten year old niece. Art can revolt me, make me angry. And art can inspire me. Some artworks look weird to me, and some are great. And some few pieces, get an iconic status.
Leading international art website ARTINFO has released a list of the “100 Most Iconic Artworks From the Last 5 Years”. The full list, released on their website this week, is an ambitious attempt to distill the past half-decade into its most memorable artistic moments. They put it thus:
From among the thousands of individual works that pass through galleries and museums, which have affected the conversation in some significant way? Amid all of contemporary art’s chaotic installations and ephemeral gestures, which images have some staying power?
The top condenders were chosen by members of the ARTINFO staff, colleagues and several “distinguished outsiders”. The final cut – notably heavy on “art stars”, installations and performance pieces (Damien Hirst, Ai Weiwei, Marina Abromovic, Tino Seghal and Pussy Riot all make it in) – has sparked mixed reactions. I’ll let you be the judge. In the top five slots:
Christian Marclay, “The Clock”, 2010
Produced for the Lincoln Centre in New York, this piece of video art – spanning 24 hours – on a clock was built “collage” style from spliced film clips, each frame displaying an exact time.
2. Marina Abromovic, “The Artists is Present”, 2010
Renowned performance artist Marina Abramovic’s retrospective at the New York MOMA saw her spend three months across from an empty chair, in which thousands of visitors took a seat over the course of the exhibition.
3. Tino Sehgal, “This Progress”, 2010
A participatory work in which volunteers guided visitors through the ascending levels of New York’s Guggenheim Museum, mirroring the passage of time.
4. Ai Weiwei: Sunflower Seeds
The artist flooded the Tate Modern Turbine Hall with a hundred million seemingly identical hand-sculpted sunflower seeds, offering poetic comment on the notion of “made in China” and the nature of individuality.
5. Damien Hirst, “For the Love of God”, 2007
YBA breakout star Damien Hirst stirred controversy in the art world once again when he covered this human skull with diamonds and sold it for $100 million.
So what do you think? You can see the full list here.