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January 25, 2005

What if Google ranked artists?


It's not just web pages or songs or colleges that get ranked these days, it's artists as well.

ArtFacts has created a Top 100 list of all artists - living or dead.

Well, that's not exactly true: they only ranked 16,059 artists last year.

How did you do?

Check yourself out - if you dare.

Who's #1?

Who do you think, booboo?

Picasso -


as he's been since the rankings started in 1999.

Andy Warhol's held steady at #2.

Gerhard Richter, #3 in 1999, has since dropped a bit, to where he's now #5.

The highest ranked living artist is Bruce Nauman, who came in a strong #4 last year.

Like the results of Google's searches, ArtFacts' rankings are calculated entirely by computer, and recalculated every day.


The site uses proprietary algorithms to weight shows by venue and participants; where a show is held - whether in a small museum or at the Met - counts for a lot.

Sarah Boxer wrote an excellent story for this past Saturday's New York Times on the site and its rankings.

In it, she noted that when she herself explored the site over a period of days, its rankings seemed to change somewhat irrationally.

For example, Miró at first showed up in the #3 spot, for the past five years;


two days later, he appeared never to have reached #3 at any time during that same five year period.

So who are you gonna believe: their rankings? Or your lying eyes?

January 25, 2005 at 03:01 PM | Permalink


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