Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin are arguably the best-known and most controversial figures to have emerged from the Young British Artist movement of the 1990s. They became renowned for their openness to materials and processes, their shock tactics and entrepreneurial attitudes. In promoting and fostering their own celebrity personalities alongside their art they cemented their positions as two of the most recognised British artists of their generation.
As proponents of Street Art, both Banksy and Stik have gained enormous public popularity through their use of humorous, sometimes subversive and immediately recognisable imagery. Although officially condemned and heavily monitored, Street Art remains hugely popular, with both featured artists continuing to use the urban landscape as a canvas for their artwork.
The American Pop Art movement which emerged in the late 1950s originated in a desire to return to hard-edged composition and representational art. An attempt to defuse the personal symbolism and painterly looseness of abstract expressionism, Pop Art merges popular and mass culture using instantly recognisable imagery and content, in the process elevating commonplace objects, people and symbols of everyday life to the level of fine art.