Is the Next Michelangelo Among Us?

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Is the Next Michelangelo Among Us?

Top Rankings after 14 Annual International ARC Salons of History (2004-2019)

Mauricio Gonzalez

As a passionate art collector, interested in the work of artists painting in the traditional methods, and with my background as a marketing & research expert, whose career spans decades at some of the world’s most prestigious, global advertising agencies, I wanted accurate and unbiased information on which artists I should be purchasing and following. I wanted to know which artists were considered the best! I had the thought that the best way of gathering this information was by tracking how artists preformed in important representational art competitions. Competitions with prestigious jurors who understood the art and its creation and artists, that in the process of competition, were compared to works of other artists so that a ranking determination could be made. I know that I am not the only collector who must feel this way and so I wanted to share my findings. To this end, I formed an organization out of personal passion, ARTDATAintel.

ARTDATAintel is a comprehensive, insightful Art Intelligence database that helps collectors make smarter, more informed art investments while inspiring artists to define winning strategies in the marketplace.

By exploring 350,000+ submissions and identifying more than 5,600 award-winning artists from diverse art contests over the past 12 years, ArtDataIntel is able to provide industry trends along with statistics on an artist’s multi-year performance, his or her ranking among peers, consistency across contests, and more.

At ARTDATAintel we believe that a new Renaissance is in the making as does the Art Renewal Center (ARC), a marvelous institution whose higher purpose is "To lead the revival of realism in the visual arts".

Ever mindful of that purpose, the ARC hosts one of the most prestigious global fine art competitions: The International ARC Salon. This contest attracts the best talent from around the world. In just the latest competition, the 14th ARC Salon, artists from 73 countries submitted more than 4,300 pieces of art to compete for only 227 awards and recognitions.

But beyond great annual wins, ARTDATAintel celebrates artists who like Michelangelo have secured acclaim over a long period of time. For that reason, we always analyze the attainment of awards over a multiyear period. In this article we use the power of ARTDATAintel statistics to select the top seven ranking artists across the 14-year history of the ARC International Salons. Over that period, more than 31,000 art pieces (paintings and sculptures) were submitted, 1477 awards given, and 719 artists awarded one or more awards.

To make this extensive analysis snackable, we’ve boiled all this data down into the following simple chart:

For collectors this is a very select list of some of the most talented artists on the planet. To make it into this top seven list, these artists needed to accumulate 9 or more coveted ARC awards over the full 14 cycles of the International ARC Salon competitions. The rankings #3, #2 and #1 accumulated a stunning 14, 19 and 21 awards respectively.

But who is the next Michelangelo? Well, we helped you fine-tune the list of candidates from more than 700 ARC award winning artists to only 13, but the final decision is yours to make.

To get some personalized commentary on each of these artists and to discover other powerful data-driven insights for collectors and artists, make sure you follow us on Instagram @ARTDATAintel

Sample work of the Top 7 Rankings

  • Julie Bell: The Order Of Wolves (8th ARC Salon)
  • Julio Reyes: Empire (6th ARC Salon)
  • Joseph McGurl: Light, Sea, Earth, and Sky (13th ARC Salon)
  • Marina Dieul: La Grande Aile (9th ARC Salon)
  • Daniel Gerhartz: Hind's Feet (1st ARC Salon)
  • Philippe Faraut: Zimbabwe (2nd ARC Salon)
  • Donato Giancola: Eric Bright Eyes (1st ARC Salon)
  • Duffy Sheridan: Friendship Rose (14th ARC Salon)
  • Hiroshi Furuyoshi: Julien (5th ARC Salon)
  • Jeffrey Larson: Reflections (5th ARC Salon)
  • Max Ginsburg: War Pieta (7th ARC Salon)
  • Nick Alm: Elevator (13th ARC Salon)
  • Randalf Dilla: Tribute to Luna: The Parisian Life (13th ARC Salon)


Mauricio Gonzalez is the passionate Art Collector behind ArtDataIntel. As an advertising industry veteran, Mauricio has managed some of world’s most prestigious brands including Colgate Palmolive, FedEx, Texaco, Quaker, Sony, Sam’s Club, Ryder, Energizer, Clorox and SCA. Through his career, he has gained extensive experience in creativity, strategy, research and statistical analysis. This skillset helped inspire the creation of ARTDATAIntel and Mauricio now oversees this exciting new initiative.