Famous Artists on Google

I just searched Google with the term ‘famous artists’ and was more than surprised to see that the fifty-one artists displays were all white men, with the exception of one woman, and mostly painters. Surely art isn’t defined as simply paintings.

Google did not offer an option for more results so these fifty white man and one Mexican woman are apparently the most famous artists – based on searches and other factors Google considers relevant – in the world.

I wonder if I were searching in another country if I would still see the same fifty-one results or if people searching for “famous artists” from a computer in Africa would see images of artists famous in their country. The artists listed seem to be mainly from Europe and North America.

The one woman on the list is Frida Kahlo, a Mexican painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits, and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. She is recognizable by her thick gamy uni-brow.

Original drawing of Frida, 2022

While I can understand if Google is using data from English-speaking users searching Google in the U.S. and aggregating data however it determines if someone is ‘famous,’ there are other famous artists in the world. I would like to know how Google rates how famous someone is.

I don’t see any modern artists on the list. Maybe I’ll create a list of artists from other countries that are famous.

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