While the COVID-19 pandemic is keeping many art lovers from museums and art galleries, people are having to turn to the internet as the only way of viewing the work of many world-famous artists.
With this in mind, the researchers at Ken Bromley Art Supplies wanted to find out which artists have been searched for the most on Google in 2020 and who has been the most popular throughout the pandemic in each country.
“Our researchers used Google search data to reveal the most Googled artist of 2020 in each country and our designers have created seven unique maps to display the results in detail,” they said.
Two of these maps are displayed down here:
Leonardo da Vinci, the Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who is widely considered one of the most diversely talented individuals ever to have lived, was the found to be the most Googled artist in South Africa and the world.
Many believe this is due to his iconic paintings – The Mona Lisa and The Last Supper – and his designs on flying machines (not to mention his ground-breaking studies on optics and perspective where Da Vinci fused science and art to create works that have become part of humanity’s story).
While Da Vinci might have topped the overall leader board in 82 countries, he wasn’t the number one choice in many countries around the world. The United Kingdom favoured homegrown Banksy, as did the Russians. Interestingly, there were only two females out of the 13 winners, with artist Frida Kahlo most searched for in the USA, Mexico and Brazil and Artemisia Gentileschi topping the list in both Australia and China. Gentileschi also topped the list in New Zealand and other countries.
People in Egypt were more prone to search for Vincent van Gogh, while Juan Luna made the list for the Philippines.
Last year, Emma Calvo, Jose Guerrero, and Irene Llorca started what they call the COVID Art Museum (CAM) – a digital platform that showcases and shares artworks about the coronavirus pandemic via social media.
Based on Instagram, the museum features original works sent in by artists from around the world and hand-curated pieces selected by the founders, all of which were inspired by life during the pandemic. The museum has shared over 778 works to date and has around 165 000 followers.
Calvo said that people were sharing artwork they created while in quarantine in Spain, pouring out their feelings, perceptions, and points of view about the pandemic.
“We could sense a movement here and asked ourselves what would happen with all of this art. We didn’t want these artworks to be forgotten, so we came up with the idea of a digital museum, to make it more accessible for people all over the world.”
Commonly featured themes throughout the works in the museum include creative pleas for people to stay home, isolation, hand washing, face masks, and, not surprisingly, toilet paper.