Artists under 30: Four to watch

Artists under 30: Four to watch

Many a collector dreams of finding the next "big thing" in the art world. To give you a head start, we've picked out four to follow over the coming years.

All are aged 30 or under and feature on Bloomberg's list of the top-selling artists born in the 1980s, with figures taken exclusively from auction sales.

4) Chen Chengwei (born 1984) - total sales $442,000

An emergent painter who graduated from the China Academy of Art in 2006, the hype around Chengwei is growing but has yet to reach fever pitch.

Chen Chengwei Village Memory
Chen Chengwei's Village Memory, which sold for $12,919 at Beijing Huachen Auction in November 2013

His photo-realistic and often surreal paintings are rising steadily in value as his cachet grows - although to date he has experienced little exposure outside his native China.

In June 2013, his China No. 4 - Beauty achieved $71,187 at a Beijing auction - setting his current record.

3) Flore Sigrist (1985) - $658,000

Sigrist began her painting career at the age of seven, and was exhibiting in her native Switzerland by the time she was eight.

A highly precocious artist, her work draws on abstract expressionism, and is notable for its exquisite balance and composition.

Flore Sigrist Untitled Sotheby's
This untitled work by Sigrist dates to 2001 and sold for $96,250 at Sotheby's New York in November 2013

Intriguingly she appears to have eschewed the gallery route, with the majority of her works being consigned directly to auction. The body of work she has already developed in her 22-year career gives her a distinct edge over other artists in her age group.

The record for Sigrist's work at auction was set at $134,500 for Sur Le Trampoline ca Decoiffe!, which sold at Sotheby's New York in 2013.

2) Oscar Murillo (1986) - $1.4m                                                           

Murillo is a Columbian-born painter based in London who is being widely touted as a star in the making. A string of major sales last year has significantly increased his price point, which has shifted from four to six figures in under two years.

In June of last year an untitled work from 2011 made a record £235,875 ($391,475) at a Post-War and Contemporary Art sale at Christie's - up 746.2% on estimate.

Oscar Murillo untitled record
This record breaking untitled work by Murillo made a 902.5% increase on estimate at Phillips New York last year

That record was almost immediately broken when another untitled work made $401,000 at Phillips in New York in September 2013 - eclipsing its $40,000 estimate by 902.5%.

Kenny Schachter, a London-based dealer, told Bloomberg: "He's had the quickest upward trajectory for his age of any artist I've seen in 25 years. There's a lot of money to be made trading Oscar Murillo at this point."

1) Jacob Kassay (1984) - $4.5m

Kassay is currently the biggest selling artist under 30, although with a record auction price of $317,000 - set at Phillips New York in November 2013 - his ascent has been less explosive than Murillo.

Jacob Kassay auction
This untitled work by Kassay made $121,250 at Phillips in April last year - up 34.7% on estimate

Like Murillo, Kassay's work has risen significantly at auction and received a significant degree of press coverage as a result.

By the age of 26 he was commanding six figures at auction for his work, which largely consists of reflective electroplated canvases.

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