30 Artists you should know

Here is a list I put together of thirty artists (of all sorts) I think everyone should know of,

In no particular order…

Ferran Adria’ ( Chef 1962- )

This guy is the Dr. Frankenstein of the culinary world.  Jamon covered cherries, pina colada cotton candy, & apples somehow conformed to look and feel like caviar, & thats just a taste of what he does.

John Coltrane ( Jazz musician  1926-1967)

Look up cool Badass Jazz rhythms in the dictionary and there should be a picture of John Coltrane.

Federico Garcia Lorca ( Poet  1898-1936)

One of the great poets of all.  My favorite are his cante’ Jondo poems, in which he wrote his version of old gypsy flamenco folk.  But all are good.  He also should be respected as a martyr for the arts, for in 1936, knowing how powerful his words were and could be against the spanish fascist, he was executed by the Franco regime.

Francisco de Goya ( Painter 1746-1828)

Speaking of great spanish artists, Goya was one of the most versatile painters in the history of the world.  He managed to keep his unique style even while painting portraits of the royal family in their up tight poses.  And he is one of few painters( along with Titian) who changed his style in his old age.

Mos Def ( Rapper/actor 1973- )

While Lil Wayne and Nicki Manaj are destroying(in a bad way) hip hop on the radio, Mos Def is still one of the best lyricist around, keeping true to the skills and rhythms of hip hop, not hip POP.

Martin Scorsese (Director  1942- )

What, have you never seen a Scorsese film?  Although I prefer the oldies to the latest collection of films.  “Who’s that knocking at my door”, “Mean Streets” , ” Taxi Driver”, “Raging Bull”, ” Good Fellas”, you get the point.  The list goes on.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio ( Painter 1571-1610)

Enter the beginning of the eccentric artist, who is absolutely nuts.  Aside from a great biography, being that he was a murderer ( no not kidding, he was) , his baroque works were astonishing.  His Motto, ” Nec Spe, Nec Metu” latin for ” Without Hope, Without Fear”, the greatest motto for artists ever.

Floyd Mayweather Jr.  ( Boxer 1977- )

Wait what?, Why is a boxer on a list of artists?  Simple, if you watch Floyd fight, he makes it look like art, and besides I say boxing is an art.

Helmut Newton  ( Photographer  1920-2004)

If you’re a photographer and don’t know who Helmut Newton was, then you need to go back to photography class.  His work is mysterious, sexy, and truly unique.

Salvador Dali  ( Painter 1904-1989)

This is a genius, why? Mostly because he himself had the balls to say so.  In a time when modern art was sweeping the world, Dali managed to keep classical painting technique and merge it into the modern style of surrealism.  He was in the present art trend, but instead of just smudging colors around, he could paint with skill.

Sam Cooke ( Singer 1931-1964)

If you don’t know Sam Cooke, well I feel sorry for your woman.  This is the Soul of music.  He sang everything from gospel to pop, but my favorites is when he’d sing good ol’ soul and love songs. With a soft, smooth voice like that,….FUGGETABOUTIT!

Gary Oldman ( Actor  1958- )

Who the Hell is Gary Oldman?  No really, even if you know who he is, you don’t really know who he is.  That’s what makes him such a brilliant actor.  He actually becomes people other than himself.  He’s not just remembering lines, he’s doing a thing called acting.

Jimi Hendrix ( Musician  1942-1970)

Do I really need to tell you why?  What are you from Mars?  Way ahead of his time guitarist, who learned to play with his teeth out of necessity, seriously, in the old blues clubs down south, if you didn’t play with your teeth, you were booooed off before you plugged in.

Stanley Kubrick ( Director 1928-1999)

One of the best in film history.  Although it took him a while to finish a film, the wait always paid off.  “Dr Strangelove (or how I learned to stop worrying and love the bomb)” and yes thats the full name, is my favorite film of all time.

Miles Davis ( Jazz Musician 1926-1991)

Along with John Coltrane, one of the pioneers of Jazz.  Everything from his bebop to his classical, to his love songs, Miles was just always Miles, that is to say amazing.

Pablo Neruda ( Poet 1904-1973)

When I first read ” The Song of Despair”, I was stunned in amazement.  I’ve known alot of tough guys in my life, and I promise even they would melt to the words of Neruda.

Diego Velazquez ( Painter  1599-1660)

One of the most important figures in painting.  His use of quick simple brush strokes and understanding of a painter is an illusionist, made him a legend.  During his time, other artists criticized him for using techniques to speed up the painting’s process, but they’re not in the history books and he is, thats all that needs to be said.

Dave Chapelle  (Comedian 1973- )

Comedians are in my book a must.  They are artists.  The hard work it takes to make others laugh, even if their own life sucks. Chapelle show was one of the funniest shows ever, and his stand up was even better.  And true to being an artist, he walked away from a multi million dollar pay check, because he didn’t want to sell out and dilute his comedy.

Alexander Mcqueen ( Fashion Designer  1969-2010)

McQueen was not just a designer, he was a true artist.  His work was completely creative and one of a kind.  For those who don’t know his work, you may have seen some in music videos such as Bjork and Lady Gaga.

Antonio Lopez Garcia ( Painter 1936- )

My favorite living painter.  Spain has produced many great artists, infact much of this list consist of spanish artist, and Garcia’s work falls in full form of the tradition of spanish realism.  He is best known for his cityscapes, but it is his vision that gives even a picture of buildings it’s own, some what ghostly, character.

Sex Pistols  ( Musicians 1970’s )

Alright, so they’re a band and not one artist, but they deserve attention because to me, they were the last true punk band.  Even other punk bands hated the Sex Pistols, and what is more punk than that.  Truth is, they sucked, and they knew it too, but that was what made them great.  Punk isn’t suppose to be about the artistic composition of music, but rather the anti music, anti every thing infact, including anti punk, and that describes the Pistols.

Antoni Gaudi ( Architect  1852-1926)

Gaudi practically put the city of Barcelona on the map.  His absolute original designed buildings are without any question, giant art pieces or sculptures, to which people can live in, work in, and even pray in.  His best known work is the Basilica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Familia, or better known as Sagrada Familia.  In other words, that really strange looking church in Spain.

Robert Johnson  ( Blues Musician 1911-1938)

The original guitar great.  Sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads in Mississippi, to become the best guitar player ever.  Eric Clapton said he was the most important blues signer that ever lived.

Daniel Day Lewis  ( Actor  1957- )

Did you see ” There will be Blood”, or ” Gangs of New York”?  Much like Gary Oldman a great actor who becomes the character.  It’s said during the filming of ” Gangs of New York”, Mr. Day Lewis would sit at lunch, just staring down Leonardo Dicaprio, with a knife in his hands poking at the table.  Gotta love that dedication.

Larry David  (Comedian 1948- )

If you never watched ” Curb your Enthusiasm”, Larry David as the character Larry David, tends to say and do all the things you want to in real life, but have that little filter in you, that stops you.  He is a really funny man in his bizarre way.

Terry Gillaim  (Director  1940 – )

When Terry Gillaim was Director of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”, it was the perfect match.  The words of Hunter S Thompson, the acting of Johnny Depp and Benicio Del Torro(who are other great artists), and the visual of Terry Gilliam.  His strange ways of presenting film classics like “12 Monkeys” and ” The Adventures of Baron Munchausen”, put him in a league of his own.

Maria Callas  (Opera Singer 1923-1977)

The voice of beauty and pain.  In the history of opera, no other voice has compared.  She didn’t just sing arias, she felt them, and even better, she made you feel them.  She almost screamed in agony at times, allowing the tragedy of the story to punch you in the face.  Maria Callas is a must.

Hunter S Thompson (Writer  1937-2005)

As mentioned before, the writer of “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas”.  He changed writing and journalism forever, and created “Gonzo” journalism.  He had his ass kicked by the Hell’s Angels, became public enemy number one by his yuppie rich boy Aspen Colorado neighbors, and he hated Richard Nixon.  Not much more needs to be said.

Rembrandt Van Rijn  (Painter  1606-1669)

Much like Velazquez, another innovator in painting.  Rembrandt wanted to make his paintings real.  He painted with extremely thick strokes, glazed golden rich layers and his work is unmistakingly his.

Ludwig Van Beethoven ( Musician/Composer  1770-1827)

Beethoven is one of my, if not my favorite artist of all time.  His work is like a biography of his own chaotic life.  You can feel and hear all the love, pain, anger and sorrow in his works.  He was the original punk rocker/ gangster rapper of his day.  Really! At first people thought his compositions were too aggressive.  He was a great composer and to top it off he was deaf.  You try writing music that you can’t hear.


~ by jsesautte on February 26, 2012.

2 Responses to “30 Artists you should know”

  1. Totally agree with you about a lot of these guys. Especially Mayweather, Daniel Day Lewis, Sam Cooke, Dali, and the comedians.

  2. Had to include Mayweather

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