Now in its fifth edition, Forbes highlights a list of 300 visionaries making waves across ten industries and 32 European countries. This year, its art and culture section hopes to provide a much-needed dose of optimism to the world at a time of uncertainty. After thousands of international nominations, months of reporting, followed by the seal of approval by judges Hans Ulrich Obrist, Bledar Kola and Chiara Ferragni, this year’s list highlights an array of creatives to keep an eye on.
The Paris-based art collective Obvious represented by MTArt is just one of many featured on this year’s list. A collective of friends, artists and researchers, the group is driven by a common investigative interest in AI and machine learning. Co-founded by Hugo Caselles-Dupré, Pierre Fautrel and Gauthier Vernier, Obvious created the first-ever piece of AI art to be sold by a major auction house, in this case Christie’s, in 2018. Titled Edmond de Belamy, the generative adversarial network portrait sold for $432,500, exceeding its estimated value of $7,000 to $10,000 by a fair whack.
Artist George Ruoy also features on the list. With multiple solo shows under his belt at only 25 years of age, George is known for his paintings of gormless faces, delicately balancing his craft between a sense of beauty and darkness. Since we first featured his work in 2017, the artist has gone on to receive further critical acclaim and professional success, capturing the attention of both collectors and the Foundation Cartier alike.
Elsewhere on the line up, the 26-year-old menswear designer Bianca Saunders is recognised for her thoughtful design practice, considering the meaning of contemporary masculinity today. Drawing inspiration from her West Indian heritage, the cutting-edge designer has shown her eponymous frond at London Fashion Week for four seasons in a row. While her other accolades include the British Fashion Council’s NewGen Prize, as well as a number of profiles in the likes of Vogue and The Guardian.
Forbes also shines a light on set designer Jabez Bartlett, photographer Nima Benati, gallerist Alice Black, illustrator Alla Horvat, and a number of artists. These include the artist duo Anna Devís Benet and Daniel Rueda Cuerda, Flóra Borsi, Lap-See Lam, Miryam Haddad and Kasper Bosmans.