The period from 2000 to 2009 was marked by the rise of numerous influential and celebrated artists in the contemporary art world. While determining the "best" artists is subjective, here is a list of some prominent artists who made an impact during this time:
- Damien Hirst (United Kingdom) - A leading figure of the Young British Artists (YBAs) movement, Hirst is known for his provocative installations and sculptures, often featuring themes of life, death, and mortality.
- Takashi Murakami (Japan) - A multimedia artist and founder of the Superflat movement, Murakami blends traditional Japanese art with contemporary pop culture, creating vibrant paintings, sculptures, and installations.
- Jeff Koons (United States) - A prominent contemporary artist, Koons is known for his large-scale sculptures and installations that often reference popular culture and challenge notions of value and taste in the art world.
- Tracey Emin (United Kingdom) - Another influential member of the YBAs, Emin is known for her deeply personal and confessional artworks, spanning various mediums such as painting, drawing, installation, and neon sculptures.
- Banksy (United Kingdom) - The enigmatic street artist Banksy gained considerable fame during this period for his provocative and often controversial stenciled graffiti art, addressing political and social issues.
- Gerhard Richter (Germany) - A versatile artist with a career spanning several decades, Richter continued to make a significant impact during the 2000s with his abstract paintings, photorealistic works, and exploration of various artistic styles.
- Marlene Dumas (South Africa/Netherlands) - A renowned painter, Dumas is known for her figurative works that address themes of identity, sexuality, and the human condition, often using expressive brushwork and intense color palettes.
- El Anatsui (Ghana) - A sculptor and installation artist, Anatsui is known for his large-scale, draped metal tapestries made from discarded bottle caps and aluminum, highlighting themes of consumption, waste, and the environment.
- Jenny Saville (United Kingdom) - A figurative painter known for her large-scale, expressive depictions of the human body, Saville explores themes of beauty, flesh, and the female form.
- Maurizio Cattelan (Italy) - A conceptual artist known for his provocative sculptures and installations, Cattelan often uses humor and satire to address social, political, and cultural issues.
Please note that this list is not exhaustive, and many other talented artists emerged and made significant contributions to the art world between 2000 and 2009. The artists mentioned above are just a few examples of the diverse and dynamic contemporary art scene during this period.