IntroductionYoung British Artists or YBAs (also Brit artists and Britart) is the name given to a group of conceptual artists, painters, sculptors and installation artists based in the United Kingdom, most (though not all) of whom attended Goldsmiths College in London. The term Young British Artists is derived from shows of that name staged at the Saatchi Gallery from 1992 onwards, which brought the artists to fame.
HistoryBritArt pertains to the group of young British visual artists who decided to stage an exhibit together in 1988. Most of them were Fine Art graduates or students at London’s Goldsmiths College. Such a move spelled out a new artist movement which was initially referred to as the Young British Artists movement. Later on, the name was eventually shortened to simply become BritArt. In 1991, BritArt was fully embraced as an art movement, technically after the magazine Frieze was launched. Frieze mostly featured emerging young British artists, their works, and the current exhibits paying homage to the British modern art. One of the most avid followers of the BritArt group is Charles Saatchi of the world famous advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi. His passion for the creations of the BritArt artists started when he visited the Freeze exhibition held at Surrey Docks in 1988.
Legacy and InfluencesOne of the most influential teachers of the BritArt group is Michael Craig Martin. Being a modern artist himself, he has dedicated most of his time in fostering new forms of creativity. He was the one who abolished the usual separation of the media of art. BritArt, because of its more modern take on artworks, has revitalized and spawned a new generation of contemporary art galleries in London and the rest of the UK. The interest in this particular art movement spread all over, that even the smallest British art magazines saw a drastic increase in their sales.
Famous ArtworksOne of the famous artworks made by the BritArt group is Damien Hirst’s ‘The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living’ (1991). Damien Hirst was the organizer of the later exhibits of the BritArt Group. Another one is the ‘Bullet Hole’ (1988) by Mat Collishaw, which is an artwork purchased by Charles Saatchi himself. Tracey Emin’s ‘My Bed’ (1999) also made the rounds in the modern art movement.
Famous ArtistsAside from Damien Hirst, Mat Collishaw, and Tracey Emin, the other famous artists of the BritArt movement are Gillian Wearing and Chris Ofili, both of which won the Turner Prize in 1997 and 1998 respectively; Jake and Dinos Chapman and Anya Gallaccio, who were both nominees for the same prestigious award; and a long list of artists that include Angus Fairhurst, Sam Taylor-Wood, Gary Hume, Fiona Rae, Jenny Saville, Michael Landy, and Tacita Dean, among others.
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If you study a great work of art, you’ll probably find the artist was a kind of genius. And geniuses are different to you and me. So let’s have no talk of temperamental, self-absorbed and petulant babies. Being a good artist is the toughest job you could pick, and you have to be a little nuts to take it on. I love them all.
It was while he was travelling through the wilds of Mexico several years ago that Damien Hirst was first struck by the idea of using a human skull in his work. Surveying the remains of Aztec and Mayan skeletons as he delved into the histories of the fallen civilisations, he was inspired by the idea of taking something from the past and bringing it back to life through the defiant power of art…