David Bowie named most influential British artist of past 50 years

David Bowie named most influential British artist of past 50 years

DAVID BOWIE has been named the most influential British artist of the past 50 years, in a list which has been compiled by a panel of experts from across the arts industry.

Bowie landed the number one spot in the Sky Arts list of 50 influential artists, which recognises artists across five categories including visual arts, literary arts, performing arts, music and film & TV.

He was commended for his influence across the industry and ability to transcend a variety of mediums including music, film and fashion.

The list also features artist Banksy, 90s pop sensation the Spice Girls and acclaimed director, screenwriter and actress Michaela Coel.

A team of expert judges across music, film & TV, performing arts, literature and visual art were challenged to create the list by TV channel Sky Arts in a celebration of British artists past and present and their influence on global culture.

The 15-person judging panel, led by DJ, presenter and author Lauren Laverne, included MOBO Awards founder Kanya King CBE, acclaimed writer Bonnie Greer, film critic, Ali Plumb and esteemed theatre critic Lyn Gardner.

Others who made the top ten list include Sir Steve McQueen, director of 12 Years a Slave, Russell T Davies (Doctor Who, It's A Sin) and Dame Vivienne Westwood, iconic fashion designer and pioneer of British punk culture since the 1970s.

To celebrate David Bowie topping the list, Sky Arts commissioned Joe Black, a critically acclaimed mixed media artist from London, to create a unique artwork of the legendary musician using guitar plectrums. Each plectrum features a cut out shape to symbolise all the artistic disciplines Bowie influenced, from music and film to art, performance and poetry.

"This portrait was created to celebrate David Bowie being named the most influential artist of the last 50 years," Joe said. "His visual representation had a huge impact across all of the arts worldwide. The idea was to use thousands  of specially designed plectrums with each design representing one of the five artistic areas of Bowie’s creative life and influences - music, film, fashion, literature and art."

Beyond the top ten, a variety of acclaimed British artistic talent, past and present, feature in the Top 50 list. Included in the full list are Ricky Gervais, known for his controversial comedy, as well as Skin, lead vocalist of Skunk Anansie and Glastonbury’s first black British headliner in 1999.

‘Confessional’ visual artist Tracey Emin also appears, plus satirical actor and comic, Steve Coogan.