As an art history student, the majority of my studies were centered around ancient or classical works of art. Those works are great but I was always most intrigued by lessons about modern and contemporary art because it doesn't tend to be steeped in religious or historical context. Rather, it focuses on political and social narratives or, in the case of the artists below, can simply be incredibly pretty.
While I do love modern art of the 20th century for its political narratives, here are ten of my favorite contemporary artists whose works have a strong sense of magic and humor.
I love his stunning, hyper-realistic portraits.
Simple, minimalist line drawings which I have framed and hanging over my kitchen sink.
He creates color-blocked paintings in soft, attractive colors.
Bright overhead images of colorful beaches. I particularly love his collaboration with Swell.
Illustrations of colorful, magical fairytale-like scenes.
Her work consists of these quirky, illustrated patterns that I think would look lovely as a bathroom wallpaper or journal cover.
Eerie, neutral-toned, portraits that seem to fade into their own backgrounds.
Humorous and sometimes punny pop-culture illustrations.
A New Zealand based artist who creates beautiful, cold portraits and landscapes.
She does these amazing, eccentric pop-culture portraits of people like Jesus and Kurt Cobain.