Street artist Banksy has been ranked ahead of the likes of Turner and Constable with his Balloon Girl ranked the nation’s favourite British artwork in a new study which shines a spotlight on our ever-changing tastes in art.
The mysterious Bristol street artist topped the list of artistic greats with his 2002 work, in a UK-wide survey to get a better picture of the art which makes us tick. Constable’s The Hay Wain, which hangs in the National Gallery, was second.
The Frame National Art Audit tasked 2,000 British adults with voting for their favourite visual artworks from a shortlist drawn up by a panel of dedicated arts editors and writers. The results see contemporary artists on a par with the old masters – pointing to an eclectic national taste that even allows for works which have been mass produced on an industrial scale.
The heavily reproduced The Singing Butler by Jack Vettriano takes third position, whilst album artwork owned by millions is now considered fair game as decorative art, with record sleeves for The Beatles, Pink Floyd and The Sex Pistols highly prized by the nation and figuring in the top 20.
The Art Audit was commissioned to mark the launch of The Frame – a new TV from Samsung which blends art and technology. The innovative screen seamlessly becomes a piece of art when not being used, with users able to choose from more than 100 pieces of pre-loaded pieces to suit any tastes.
The nation’s favourite artworks by British artists are:
- Banksy; Balloon Girl
- John Constable; The Hay Wain
- Jack Vettriano; The Singing Butler
- JMW Turner; The Fighting Temeraire
- Antony Gormley; The Angel of the North
- L S Lowry; Going to the Match
- John William Waterhouse; The Lady of Shalott
- Peter Blake; Sgt Pepper album cover
- Hipgnosis and George Hardie; Dark Side of the Moon album cover
- George Stubbs; Mares and Foals
- Thomas Gainsborough; Mr and Mrs Andrews
- John Everett Millais; Ophelia
- Andy Goldsworthy; Balanced Rock Misty
- David Hockney; A Bigger Splash
- Bridget Riley; Movement in Squares
- Anish Kapoor; ArcelorMittal Orbit
- Stik; A Couple Hold Hands in the Street
- Maggi Hambling; Scallop
- Henry Moore; Reclining Figure
- Jamie Reid; Never Mind the Bollocks album cover
More than half the top 20 was drawn from works created in the 20th and 21st century, despite the riches stretching back across the preceding centuries. Indeed, nearly a third of the works (30%) date from just the past 25 years.
The nation’s love of sculpture, public art and record sleeves meant that only half the top 20 works were traditional paintings or drawings. Installations by the likes of Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin, despite commanding top dollar from collectors, failed to connect with the public and did not make the top 20.
Guy Kinnell, Vice President of TV & AV, Samsung UK and Ireland said: “It’s fascinating to lift the lid on the nation’s art tastes and also to get an idea of the changing nature of the way we consume artworks. Now we are taking another step in this evolution by transforming the TV screen into a gallery with the launch of The Frame. TVs are very much a focal point of our living spaces and this idea opens up a new way to view and display art in the heart of our homes. And unlike traditional artworks, you can change them at the press of a button to match your mood.”