The “art world” is a social and economic network of artists, dealers, dilettantes, critics, collectors, artists, and curators invested in the production, sale, and institutional evaluation of objects classified as “art.” But there exists another art world, a vast parallel cyberverse populated by unironic unicorns, buxom manga-style nymphettes, and photorealist portraits of Robert Pattinson. Art world, meet your Janus-Face: The massive online art-sharing community of DeviantArt (which ranks as the 79th most popular website in these great United States of ours, according to Internet traffic statistics site Alexa) is governed by its own aesthetic laws. Notions of high/low, avant-garde and kitsch, are obsolete here. Technical virtuosity trumps intellectual rigor, and “conceptual art,” well, forget about it.
Nevertheless, buried deep in its bowels, there are artworks (or “Deviations,” as they are called by DeviantArt denizens) that wouldn't be out of place in Chelsea or, at least, the Lower East Side. Our editors have spent hours combing through the wild and woolly realms of the world's 13th largest social network, and come up with a selection of works that we actually, more or less, really like. After selecting a gallery of favorites, we even gave each work a score on a scale of 1 to 100 (specifically, we had 10 staffmembers score the works on a scale of 1 to 10, and then added up the totals). We’ve written a blurb about each explaining what caught our eye, and, where possible, have even gotten a comment from the creator him or herself on their creative process. Enjoy!
To see our 20 favorite artworks from DeviantArt, click on the slide show.