Guess Who?




Paris, France.

Each day, thousands of tourists flock to the Lourve, mobiles in hand, balancing on toes with necks arched – all for a glimpse of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. His name and its reputation leads them to the painting; “da Vinci”, has been drilled into their heads since childhood. The throngs of people gathered around her smile confirm that this woman is important and worth seeing. Sadly for some, flash is prohibited…

The world is full of individuals trading on the recognition of their names. Imbued with the history of successes and failures, names have evolved into small brands. Nowhere is that more prevalent than in the art world. 

Connoisseurs know the back-story – where the canvas was painted, who was in the room – but for most, their first exposure to the world of art began with an ubiquitous name. Take this for example: can you name the artist who painted wild, swirling skies, wrote passionate letters, and cut off his ear? What about the artist who printed that kitschy soup can time and time again?

Of course.

But, without iconic anecdotes, do you really know your art? 

We’ve taken away the faces of three prominent artists to test your art history skills, can you recognise them with the facts? No crap, no pomp, just numbers reflecting their accomplishments.

Can you match three of the artists to the profiles below?

Artist A: This artist has consistently shown with the best: Cindy Sherman, Bruce Nauman, Richard Prince. Taking over public spaces to stage large-scale artworks, they’re known for borrowing phrases from others and re-purposing them in their work.

Artist B: This mature artist’s star has risen in the past decade. Known for inventive installations and a focus on humanity, they have jumped more than 60 ArtFacts.Net ranking places in the last 10 years, and are now recognised in the top 100 list. 

Artist C: This artist peaked in their 80s; well-loved in the U.S this artist is also a favourite in Japan with a total of 156 exhibitions in that country.  With a strong public presence, this artist became an art and style icon and known for an obsessive practice.


Click through to watch “The Big Detachment” by Marek Claaßen at Talking Galleries 

We can pore over auction statistics, read an artist’s biography, thumb through catalogs, or hold a magnifying glass to their paint strokes, but it’s raw data that reveals the truth about an artist’s career – and data is faceless. 

On November 3rd, ArtFacts.Net Director Marek Claaßen visited the Talking Galleries symposium in Barcelona to shine a bit of light on the lack of transparency in the art world. His talk, “The Big Detachment”, focussed on the three major sectors of the art market, and how raw data is on its way to becoming the common denominator in the world of art collecting, buying, and selling.

A: Jenny Holzer B: Yoko Ono C: Yayoi Kusama

Cut the crap – get the facts.

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