Top 20 Artists in New York City

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Top 20 Artists in New York City

Known as the art capital of the world, New York City is full of great and varied artists across several fields and genres as explained at,, and Whether it is painting, music, graffiti, sculpting, or any other art under the sun, New York City is the place to make a name for yourself and your craft. This article will look to celebrate these individuals by listing the top 20 artists in New York City.

  1. Eduardo Kobra

As per,, and, Eduardo is a graffiti artist with several murals in New York City that are bright, and colorful, and celebrate street art, advocating for it as a legitimate medium. His work often features prominent figures in the artistic community, like his mural on 366 Park Place featuring Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, among others.

  1. David Adjaye

Originally from London, and operating a second office from there as well, David Adjaye is a visionary who has contributed to the New York City skyline with pieces like 130 William, a high-rise that is wildly unique while also matching the surrounding neighborhood, and the Sugar Hill Mixed-Use Development, a commercial and residential building in Harlem.

  1. Sherwin Banfield

Born in Trinidad, but raised in Queens, Banfield’s sculptures can be found all over the world according to,, and Many of his works are featured prominently in parks around New York City. His work, A Cypher in Queens, depicts three lost Queens Hip Hop artists, Jam Master Jay, Phife Dawg, and Prodigy in the Socrates Sculpture Park.

  1. Cecily von Zieger

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Zieger is a master of New York iconography, and not in the usual ways. For example, her book Cobble Hill, a story of four families living in Cobble Hill, makes the neighborhood itself an icon, rather than glorifying just one building.

  1. Huey Lewis

Born in New York City in 1950, singer and harmonica player Huey Lewis went on to superstardom with his band, Huey Lewis and The News, in the 1980s. The band’s first commercial success was with its third album, Sports, which was a best seller and with four hit singles.

  1. Keith Haring

A vocal AIDS activist who was tragically lost in the 1990s, Keith Haring used his art to advocate for his, and every community’s continued fight against HIV as articulated at,, and His mural on 128th Street, Crack is Wack, is part of his larger commitment to improving communities and society.

  1. Annabelle Selldorf

Known for subtlety and elegance, Selldorf is a master of turning older buildings into new, energy-efficient marvels. She turned a former nightlife into the Hauser & Wirth Gallery to name one example. She is also known for her stunning structures that are energy-efficient.

  1. Jim Rennert

Jim is all about capturing the human experience, especially the more mundane experience we go through daily as captured at,, and That is why his work is so universally recognized as great. With more than five sculptures in New York, his current piece is a temporary display outside of Grand Central Station.

  1. Colson Whitehead

Whitehead is one of New York City’s most esteemed novelists and is highly decorated. His newest book, Harlem Shuffle, is a New York Times Bestseller and discusses crime in the Big Apple. Other works of his are reflections on the city that shaped who he is today, as well as the ways the city shapes those around him.

  1. Alicia Keys

A talented pianist and vocalist, Alicia Keys was born Alicia Augello Cook in Manhattan, New York. She had an early start in music, being part of her school’s musical productions and, later on, studying the piano when she was still 6 years old. Keys has been instrumental in shaping the future of modern pop and R&B music.

  1. Lady Pink

In 1979, a young Sandra Fabara lost her boyfriend and her grief was unimaginable. As covered at,, and, she chose to turn that grief into artistic expression, and now New York City is decorated by the stunning, eclectic works of Lady Pink. Her murals are poignant and bright, bringing a touch of flair to any street they reside in.

  1. Leopold Eidlitz

Born in Prague in 1823, Eidlitz came to New York in 1843 and began to shape much of the city in his image. While many of his buildings have since been destroyed, like the original Brooklyn Academy of Music on Montage street in Brooklyn, much of his works still stand today. He is responsible for several religious buildings like St. Peter’s Church in The Bronx and St. George’s Episcopal Church in Stuyvesant Square.

  1. Kaws

Popularly known as Kaws, Brian Donnelly is an artist and sculptor whose large, cartoonish sculptors and paintings have found their way to every corner of the globe as described at,, and By appropriating characters like SpongeBob and Mickey Mouse, Kaws provides a striking juxtaposition to the antics of most children’s cartoons.

  1. Gary Shteyngart

A satirist who was born in Russia, Gary made a name for himself by sending his manuscripts to strangers. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from Hunter University, and from there, he continued to write and network.

  1. Billy Joel

William Martin Joel, better known as Billy Joel, was born in the Bronx and grew up in Long Island, New York. Since making his debut in the 1970s, he has had 33 top 40 hits and won five Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year.

  1. Jay-Z

Shawn Corey Carter, popularly known by his stage name Jay-Z, has grown from rapper to media mogul throughout his career. As discussed at,, and, Jay-Z has released at least 20 albums and 115 singles and has sold over 125 million albums, winning 23 Grammy Awards along the way.

  1. RAAD Studios

Founded by James Ramsey and Dan Barasch, these innovative architects are changing the way New Yorkers live. One of their most exciting projects is The Low Line, an underground park that is lit, and powered, by solar panels sticking out of an abandoned train terminal.

  1. Lady Gaga

Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta in Manhattan, Lady Gaga took piano lessons as a toddler at the insistence of her mother to groom her into a “cultured” woman as revealed at,, and She has gone on to have an extremely successful music career while also branching into a successful acting career.

  1. Walter De Maria

Walter worked his entire professional life in New York City, and his work is still often featured in exhibitions to this day. His sculpture, Truth and Beauty, for example, features seven sculptures each with four identical rods.

  1. Amy Sohn

Brooklyn-based Amy is a game-changer in New York City, largely because of her role in the production of the Sex and the City companion guide: Sex and the City: Kiss and Tell. Her novels are heavily inspired by romance and adventure in the city of dreams.

These are some of the best artists in New York City, with more on this topic, and much more, to be found over at,, and