Of the 10 artists who had the most important surges in demand from customers on Artsy in the second quarter of 2021, eight are finest identified for their figurative paintings, suggesting that collector hunger for the genre remains ravenous. Two folks training extremely diverse models of figuration are the Japanese artist and the Polish Thai artist . While Kawashima’s paintings typically element muted palettes and in depth brushwork, Oh de Laval’s canvases are riotously colourful and gestural affairs.
Kawashima started his increase to prominence in 2001, when his work was provided in an exhibition at Tokyo’s Tomio Koyama Gallery curated by . His get the job done, characterized by portraits of androgynous figures with exaggerated, finely rendered features like large eyes and elongated necks, has at times been likened to that of his countrymen Nara and . But as opposed to their riffs on pop lifestyle and kawaii iconography, Kawashima’s figures are strictly rooted in his have creativity. About the subsequent 4 many years, he experienced his to start with two solo shows (with Tomio Koyama Gallery), and in 2006, his do the job debuted at auction. The following calendar year, his portray of a ghostly female figure Grumble (2004) offered for $58,600 at a Christie’s day sale in New York, placing an auction report for his operate, which continue to stands.

But in the ensuing a long time, need for Kawashima’s operate started to flag. In the course of 1 extend from late 2011 to tumble 2012, 10 consecutive will work of his that had been available at auction failed to market. In 2014, the file-setting portray Grumble returned to the auction block, but bought for considerably less than a quarter of its 2007 value. But over the earlier yr, things have begun to convert all over. In March, his 2001 painting Go Forward marketed for $43,750—more than seven times its superior estimate—at a Christie’s sale. On Artsy, desire in Kawashima’s do the job started to get off in 2020, with the variety of collectors inquiring about his perform growing just about fourfold 12 months in excess of calendar year 2021 is on keep track of to be his most significant year on the platform.

Oh de Laval’s increase has been considerably additional sudden. The London-centered painter arrived to popular notice in 2020, when she made the deal with artwork for pop musician Kali Uchis’s EP To Feel Alive—which was promptly censored by Spotify. Her perform first appeared on Artsy past 12 months and immediately caught the focus of several collectors curiosity has not slowed since, with the number of end users inquiring about her do the job on the platform in 2021 presently exceeding the overall for 2020. While her generally violent and overtly sexual illustrations or photos often evoke the nightmare visions of or grimacing figures, the self-taught artist has formulated a deliciously debaucherous iconography all her have.
The primal world of Oh de Laval’s paintings was on whole view in her very first solo present, which opened at Device London in March. Main-current market curiosity in her do the job has but to translate to the secondary market—her do the job appeared at auction for the very first time ever very last month, when a print of her To Experience Alive cover marketed for HK$17,500 (US$2,200), a very little in excess of its low estimate, at a Christie’s on line sale. Inspite of that middle-of-the-street consequence, it appears probably that a lot more collectors will be testing the secondary current market for Oh de Laval’s get the job done in advance of lengthy.