Hint… topping the charts were all women

Welcome to 2022, we made it!

To start the new year off right, let’s reflect on positive achievements made in the previous one.

One such success was the number of artists who managed to grow significantly in 2021, so we’re sharing with you three artists at the top of that list.

Those that were at the very top happened to be women and all with diverse backgrounds; which we think is a rather marvellous win for 2021.

This data was taken on December 31st 2021 to accurately reflect the 2021 rankings. As we’re now in 2022 the rankings look a little different on the artists profiles (they’ve all improved even more!)

Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill
Born: 1979 | Canada
Ranking grew from 77,682 to 6,055.

Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill, Trade, 2019, Pantyhose, tobacco, beer and tab, wildflower, thread, 5″ x 7.5″ x 7″

Gabrielle is a Cree and Métis Artist and writer. Her sculptures and paintings often utilise tobacco and found materials, in combining these to create her works, she casts spells. A focus of hers is to probe existing perceptions on why land is considered economic capital. Hill is a member of BUSH Gallery which aims at igniting an appreciation for indiginous art techniques and disbanding the glorification of a eurocentric theorisation of art. The pièce de la résistance of her ranking growth last year was undoubtedly her solo show, Projects at Moma in New York.

Somaya Critchlow
Born: 1993 | UK
Ranking grew from 87,804 to 8,843

Somaya Critchlow, XXXyz (Blackface/Shooter), 2019, Oil on canvas,9 x 6.7 in

Somaya Critchlow’s work draws on Renaissance and Rococo painting traditions which she applies in her beautiful depictions of powerful black female figures. Her paintings are sensual, her subjects strong, the paintbrush guided by the female gaze instead. She participated in a number of shows in 2021, though likely the largest contributors to her ranking growth was the group exhibition, Mixing it up: Painting today at the Hayward Gallery London, and her solo show Blow-Up at Galerie Gregor Staiger in Zurich. Having only graduated from London’s Royal Drawing School in 2017, she’s going from height to height.

Diana Markosian
Born: 1989 | USA
Ranking grew from 43,606 to 7,768

Diana Markosian, Santa Barbara Photo Series, 2019, pigment print, 11 × 14 in

Using both conceptual and documentarian approaches to her photography and filmmaking, Diana Markosian’s works are both intimate and cinematic. It was undoubtedly her exhibition, Santa Barbara, held at both the International Center of Photography in New York, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in 2021 which was the catalyst for her ranking growth. Santa Barbara is an autobiographical project, which reconstructs her family’s move from Moscow to Santa Barbara in the mid-90’s. The moving exhibition was composed of archival documents, re-enacted staged photographs, a scripted short film and a stunning book to accompany it.

A very big 2021 for the three talented artists above, and equally so for a number we haven’t mentioned, discussed or not, we tip our hats to all of you.

May this encourage high aspirations for your year ahead.

Let’s make history happen.

The Artfacts Team