Top 5 Famous Autodidacts, or Self-Taught Artists the World Admires

Top 5 Famous Autodidacts, or Self-Taught Artists the World Admires

Many people think that world-famous artists have to possess tons of formal education to produce refined masterpieces. Yet, it’s not always so, and many talented creatives are self-made geniuses without a degree in art. Some of the famous autodidacts, or self-taught artists, are discussed below to show you that a diamond doesn’t always need polishing to shine brightly.

Top 5 Famous Autodidacts You Should Know

Here is the list of top famous self-taught artists whose works are admired by art appreciators across the globe.

Jean-Michel Basquiat

Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) created a large number of iconic Neo-Expressionist works throughout his life. Basquiat is world-famous for his unique artistic symbols featuring Aboriginal masks, skulls, signature crown images, and the like. Starting with graffiti, Basquiat refined his visual language to blend history, Caribbean cultural heritage, and pop culture in his unique art.

Yoko Ono

Another famous creative, also known for her marriage to John Lennon, Yoko Ono, has become one of the best-known interdisciplinary artists combining performance art, installation, video, music, and writing. Ono is mostly famous for the unique fusion of visual art and experimental music in her creative works. She is also one of the active promoters of performance art as active spectator-participant interactions.

Dieter Roth

Dieter Roth never acquired formal education in art but managed to become one of the most influential artists of the mid-20th century. His art spanned many mediums, ranging from paintings, sculptures, and installations to video art, music, poetry, and writing.

Vincent van Gogh

Returning to the good old classics, we can’t help mentioning Vincent van Gogh as one of the best-known self-taught painters. Van Gogh’s complicated character and unfruitful educational experiences at a boarding school in childhood made the artist totally reluctant to get a degree in art. Thus, van Gogh’s genius revealed itself through the artist’s self-education and a very brief course at a Brussels art school where his brother, Theo, urged him to go.

Frida Kahlo

This woman is a truly iconic image among the famous autodidacts of the 20th century. A creative with a huge talent and a tragic fate, Frida Kahlo challenged many artistic conventions and went down into history as an artist with a unique vision and a daring character. Kahlo suffered a highly traumatizing car accident and honed her painting skills during recovery. Most of her visual style came from personal experimentation and a close study of Old Masters’ works.

These are only a handful of well-known self-taught artists with a unique footprint in the world of art. Learn more about them on the pages of our art magazine.