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M+B, Los Angeles / Mariah Robertson, Photograph by Jeff McLane

15 Young Artists To Watch Now

Art advisor Maria Brito spends her days traveling the globe looking for emerging artists and designers. Below, her list of 15 emerging artists she’s watching carefully. (Meanwhile, also by Maria: Decorating with Contemporary Art, and this fascinating read about the state of the art markets.)

by Maria Brito

It’s hard to encompass in a few words what I am looking for when I buy for my collection or what I recommend to my clients. There’s never a specific set of criteria. New artists, new media, new ideas—what I do requires an open mind, constant research and observation, gallery and studio visits…it’s never-ending and always-changing and that’s why I love it so much.

Other than being guided by my own intuition, I look for art that has an aesthetic value and whose concept and execution brings something worth paying for. Historical and cultural references are important to me and they are usually helpful to understand a particular artwork. I also look at artists that are part of a community of other artists (not that a loner isn’t welcome in my world, too), but more and more I’m interested in seeing what could come out of artists who hang out together and their exchanges, or if it’s a particular school that will take a name and a shape 50 years from now when art historians look back at how one may influence the work of another. Livability is obviously very important: Will it stay with me? Will my clients keep it or send it to storage, or worse, get rid of it at auction?

There are other factors that play a role for me specifically but they don’t necessarily taint decisions I make on behalf of a client: I love an artist who is nice, fun, engaging, and can carry a conversation (yes, even shy artists can carry a conversation). Those who take a sacrosanct approach to what they do and those who have a larger-than-life attitude looking down on others don’t register well on my radar, regardless of how good their art is.

I can’t predict if these artists will be considered eminences centuries from now, and I don’t write algorithms like ArtRank. I do, however, have an eye for things that are beautiful, moving, powerful, and well-made.

While it’s impossible to encapsulate here all the artists I like, love, and worship, I chose 15 young artists that I think are priced correctly, and represented by nice people from good galleries.

Milq – 15 YOUNG ARTISTS TO WATCH

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