Opinion

The Most-Searched Artists in the US, According to eBay

(image courtesy eBay)
eBay’s most-searched artists by state (image courtesy eBay) (click to enlarge)

What significance does Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi have to people in the state of Michigan? Why do the netizens of Georgia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Wisconsin love Faith Ringgold? Who is Terry Redlin? (And why don’t I know?) These are just some of the questions provoked by this infographic from eBay, which charts the most-searched artists on the auction website by state. In order to make the map, “we used the top 50 most searched artists on eBay, compared with industry trends and search engine data to determine which artists were the most searched in each state,” the company says.

Why eBay would want to track the most-searched, versus, say, the most-purchased, artists in each state is another question — as well as what insight one stand stands to gain from this knowledge. Andy Warhol is Pennsylvania’s Pop-art son, yes; Ansel Adams predictably has a big following out West, where he shot his most famous photographs; and Shepard Fairey attended the Rhode Island School of Design. But why is Missouri so curious about the art of American gothic horror novelist VC Andrews? Is Thomas Kinkade not as popular as previously believed, or do people just not buy his work on eBay? How to comprehend a category that spans an American “grande dame” of Impressionism, a fantasy illustrator, a “Master of 3D PopArt,” and a “Thinking Man’s Poster Artist“? Ponder this as you ponder your next bid.

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