Every day, collectors use Artsy to place bids and inquiries on artworks they desire, and to make purchases directly on the platform. And every year, we find that the artworks generating the most interest are those that reflect the tastes of collectors today, from famed street artists to highly sought-after new talents.
Here, we offer a look at the artists gathering the most attention from collectors on Artsy, divided into two categories: established and emerging. To create these rankings, we looked at the number of bids, inquiries, and purchases for each artist’s work over the course of 2022.
While the established category is not so surprising, featuring some of the artists with the biggest auction records of all time and names with boundless popular appeal, the emerging category reflects artists who have experienced serious career momentum at galleries and auctions this year.
This article is part of The Art Market Recap 2022—a look at the major sales, trends, and artists that made an impact this year. Download the full report here.
Unsurprisingly, Andy Warhol is not only at the top of the lists of the most expensive artworks and biggest auction records of 2022, his work is also the most in-demand on Artsy. While the Artsy marketplace has more than 3,000 works by Warhol available for sale, the top three works were all iterations of the same print featuring Queen Elizabeth II. Part of the well-known “Reigning Queens” series, the work may well be sought after following the iconic royal’s recent death. Notably, another edition of the Queen Elizabeth II print set a new record for the “Reigning Queens” series in late November at Heffel Fine Art Auction House in Canada.
Another notable Warhol work among Artsy collectors was the screenprint Turtle (1985) from the “Endangered Species” series. One such print sold in an Artsy Auction in March for $100,000, twice its low estimate and a new record for that print by the artist.
Damien Hirst held a whopping three solo shows with Gagosian in 2022, in addition to an exhibition titled “Cherry Blossoms” at The National Art Center Tokyo, which featured his latest series of paintings of the beloved pink-petaled trees against cheerful blue skies. The complementary series of prints, “The Virtues” (2021), was among the artist’s most inquired-on series of works on Artsy in 2022. A set of eight editions from “Virtues” sold for $125,000 in an Artsy Auction in November.
Hirst’s old favorites continue to resonate, too: Nine of the top ten works with the most inquirers were all for prints featuring his multicolored spots, ranging in date from 2004 to 2012. Next in line were works from the “Psalm” and “Cathedral” series, both of which feature kaleidoscopic compositions of butterflies.
Coming off of a slew of museum and gallery shows in 2021, this year was slightly quieter for KAWS, though he did kick it off with a massive public work on Changbai Mountain in China, and then mounted a solo exhibition at the Serpentine North Gallery in London. The top end of KAWS’s auction market has cooled since 2019—the year his artist record was set and some 20 works sold for over $1 million—yet the thirst for the artist’s more accessible works is steady, particularly for his prints and editions.
Among the more than 1,800 works available by KAWS on Artsy, the most in-demand editions are his “Companion” sculptures, particularly those that are four feet tall. And when it comes to his prints, collectors are after the works featuring his signature characters that riff on popular cartoon personalities like Mickey Mouse, the Michelin Man, Spongebob, and Snoopy. Particularly in-demand series include “Urge” (2020), “What Party” (2020), “Share” (2021), and “Blame Game”(2014).
In addition to splashy solo shows at The Broad and Gagosian this year, Takashi Murakami held his first exhibition in Dubai, featuring signature sculptures, paintings, and installations on the occasion of Perrotin’s new gallery opening. On Artsy, collectors were particularly interested in the artist’s 2016 print Tan Tan Bo, featuring a psychedelic mouse-like figure against a gold background.
Among the more than 2,300 works for sale by Murakami on Artsy, other popular choices include prints featuring the artist’s iconic flowers, as well as Memento Mori (2018), a rather subdued print from his collaboration with Virgil Abloh.
In November, Banksy went on an artmaking journey across war-torn Ukraine, leaving behind seven poetic murals in devastated parts of the country. Though it was hardly the only notable moment Banksy had this year, it certainly reminded the world of the anonymous street artist’s unmatched ingenuity.
Banksy’s perennial favorite, Girl with Balloon (2004), unsurprisingly ranks at the top of the most inquired-on works by the artist on Artsy. Other popular pieces include Kids on Gun Hill (2003), another silhouette with a heart-shaped balloon, this time floating between two minors atop a mountain of firearms; NOLA (2008), an image that originated during the artist’s visit to New Orleans three years after Hurricane Katrina; and Banksquiat (2019), an ode to Jean-Michel Basquiat with a series of the late artist’s signature crowns placed atop a ferris wheel.
Jordan Kerwick was hard to miss across the art market in 2022. The Australian artist has become increasingly known for his flat, thickly painted scenes featuring beastly creatures and charming still-life elements like stacks of books and vases of flowers. On Artsy, his following grew by 65 percent compared to last year, and the works that garnered the most bids and inquiries on the platform feature some of his best-known iconography: snakes were most desirable, followed by tigers and still lifes.
While Kerwick had a slew of shows at tastemaking galleries across the globe in the past two years—Woaw Gallery, Vito Schnabel Gallery, Anna Zorina Gallery, Vigo Gallery, Galerie Julien Cadet, Union Gallery, and Allouche Benias Gallery—around 70 works of his sold at auction in 2022 alone, compared to a small handful in 2021. His first major auction results occurred in March, when Untitled 7 (2021) sold for $201,600 at Phillips. His current auction record was set in May, when Chic Imagery (2021) sold for $272,884 at Christie’s.
Ayako Rokkaku is no stranger to the art market, nor to Artsy: She has more than 22,000 followers and over 60 works for sale on the platform. Yet the leading Japanese artist made new waves this year. Rokkaku is known for painting with her bare hands to create technicolored canvases that offer a fresh, energetic spin on kawaii aesthetics. And she’s increasingly beloved for her live painting performances, which she presented several times this year across the globe. Throughout the year, Rokkaku was a consistent presence at auctions, art fairs, and galleries internationally.
Her auction record was broken in July, when Untitled (2017) sold for over $1.3 million at Tokyo’s SBI Art Auction. And her second- and third-highest auction records were also set this year, both of which broke the million-dollar mark. In addition to showing at Art Basel in Switzerland and Art Now Paris, Rokakku’s work was also the focus of a solo booth at Frieze Los Angeles with König Galerie. At the same time, the Berlin-based gallery announced its representation of the artist. In May, she opened her first London solo show with the gallery.
It’s no wonder that Tunji Adeniyi-Jones’s sensuous figurative paintings are among the most desirable on Artsy. The artist, who is represented by a trifecta of tastemaking galleries—White Cube, Morán Morán, and Nicelle Beauchene Gallery—only continued to refine and evolve his style this year. That was more than evident at his most recent solo show at Nicelle Beauchene in New York, which featured new paintings and a series of stone lithographs published by David Zwirner’s Utopia Editions and Jungle Press.
Just a month before that show, Adeniyi-Jones opened his first solo show in Paris with White Cube. His works were also featured in group shows this year at the Dak’art Biennale, the Aïshti Foundation, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, and ICA Miami. On Artsy, Adeniyi-Jones’s following grew by 30 percent this year. And in October, a print run available exclusively on Artsy in collaboration with Art for Black Lives completely sold out just hours after it was released.
JJ Manford’s lush domestic interior scenes captured collectors’ attention throughout 2022. On Artsy, the artist’s follower count grew by 148 percent year over year, and his work generated competitive bidding in the Rema Hort Mann Foundation benefit auction on Artsy in November.
Critical to Manford’s distinctive approach involves his choice of materials—oil stick, pastel, and Flashe paint—which results in a rich, textured surface. His compositions typically feature warm, stylish rooms rife with furniture, plants, small pets, and often, artworks whose artists are mentioned in the titles.
This year, in addition to a solo show in February at Harper’s in Los Angeles, Manford was featured in over a dozen group exhibitions and fair booths, with galleries including Derek Eller Gallery, The Hole, V1 Gallery, The Pit, PM/AM, and Berggruen Gallery, among others.
It was a major year for Antonia Showering—and that is reflected in her growing popularity on Artsy: the artist’s following grew by 111 percent year over year and her works are among the most requested by clients of Artsy’s Private Sales team.
In late 2021, Showering gained representation with Timothy Taylor, and her first solo show with the gallery opened in January 2022. That show was a turning point: In the months that followed, her work achieved two estimate-smashing auction results: We Stray (2020) sold for £239,400 in June at Phillips; and It Wasn’t Meant to Be (2017) sold for £226,800 in March, also at Phillips.
Showering’s soft, dreamy figurative works, which employ a distinctive palette of muted reds, greens, and oranges, have been garnering attention since well before the young British artist earned her MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art in 2018. This year, her works were also featured in group exhibitions at Kasmin, Timothy Taylor, and the Green Family Art Foundation.
Casey Lesser is Artsy’s Associate Director of Content.