A mosaic is a pattern or picture formed from tiny regular or irregular pieces of colored stone, glass, or ceramic that are fixed in place by plaster/mortar and cover a surface.
Mosaics were especially popular as floor and wall decoration in the Ancient Roman civilization.
Mosaics are now more than simply murals and sidewalks; they also comprise artwork, hobby crafts, and industrial and construction forms.
Artists and crafters from all over the globe create modern mosaics. Other than typical stone, ceramic tesserae, enameled, and stained glass, shells, beads, charms, chains, gears, coins, and costume jewelry may be used.
Famous Mosaic Artists
1. Isaiah Zagar
Isaiah Zagar (born 1939) is a mosaic artist from Philadelphia. He is well-known for his murals, which are mostly seen on or around Philadelphia’s South Street.
Magic Gardens, Zagar’s biggest South Street mosaic work, is both a three-dimensional, immersive installation piece of art and a museum exhibition space.
The mosaics include poetry, phrases, the names of artists who have influenced Zagar, as well as portraits and animal shapes. Bottles, bike wheels, and folk art are among the items used in the gardens.
Zagar started Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens by cleaning up two abandoned properties next to a house he bought in 1994. He started mosaicing the fence and other sections of the abandoned properties after clearing the lots, erecting a chain-link fence, and mosaicing his own land.
In 2002, the owner of the lots asked that Zagar pay $300,000 for the property or have it destroyed. The land was rescued because to fundraisers, individual contributions, and a lot of community support, and the nonprofit organization Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens was founded.
2. Laurel True
Laurel True (born 1968) is an American artist, architect, muralist, and mosaicist.
True was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and founded one of the first official mosaic institutions in the United States, the Institute of Mosaic Art.
True’s career started in 1990 with an apprenticeship with outsider mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar, where he worked on site-specific architectural mosaics, and has since grown into one centered on large-scale public and communal mosaic projects.
True has been an educator and speaker in the United States since the mid-1990s. She maintains an active studio practice and travels to work on public projects engaging local communities via her organization, The Global Mosaic Project.
She now lives in Oakland, California.
3. Emma Biggs
Emma Biggs (born 1956) is a mosaic artist living in London and the author of many classic textbooks on modern mosaic work.
Her work has grown more focused with the ceramic industry and its social history, having recently finished a big public art piece titled “Made in England,” which was based on the visual culture and philosophy of the pottery industry in Stoke-on-Trent (in the English midlands).
Emma Biggs, a great artist, collaborates with her husband, Matthew Collings, to create abstract paintings. Her interest in material culture is also reflected in the techniques, forms, and names of her works.
She co-wrote Mosaic Techniques (Cassell, 2003) and numerous other publications with Tessa Hunkin, who joined her when she started the Mosaic Workshop in London in 1988.
Mosaic Workshop has worked on a number of high-profile assignments, including work for several of London’s Westminster Cathedral chapels.
She is a frequent instructor for short mosaic art classes at West Dean College, the Edward James Foundation’s study center. She also teaches at London’s City and Guilds Art School.
4. Elaine M. Goodwin
Elaine M. Goodwin is a writer and artist from the United Kingdom. She has exhibited widely, published various publications on art and design, and was the founding president of the British Association of Modern Mosaics (BAMM).
Goodwin co-founded Tessellated Expression for the Twenty-First Century (TE-21) with other famous artists, a collective of professional artists committed to tessellated art shows.
The British Association for Modern Mosaics, or BAMM, was founded in 1999. It promotes mosaic art through publishing a regular newsletter, organizing events and viewings, and assisting artists in networking, among other things.
Goodwin, a founding member and elected president, assisted in the formation of the organization with numerous other creative experts.
Faced with the problems of gaining worldwide acceptance for mosaic art as a contemporary, expressive, and saleable medium, Goodwin founded TE-21 in 2008 with fellow artists Lucio Orsoni from Italy, Toyoharu Kii from Japan, and Dugald MacInnes from Scotland.
TE-21 is a group of expert mosaicists who show together all over the globe, assisting in the establishment of this creative medium in national galleries and collections.
Tessellated Expression for the Twenty-First Century rejects the term “mosaic” since it is associated with traditional and practical design.
5. Pietro Cavallini
Pietro Cavallini (1259 – c. 1330) was an Italian painter and mosaic artist of the late Middle Ages.
Little is known about his life other from the fact that he was born in Rome and signed pictor romanus.
His earliest notable works were the fresco cycles for the Basilica of San Paolo fuori le Mura, which featured New and Old Testament stories (1277–1285). They were destroyed in the fire of 1823.
His Last Judgment, painted in 1293 in the Church of Santa Cecilia in Trastevere in Rome and considered Cavallini’s masterpiece, illustrates a Roman naturalist aesthetic approach. This realism influenced artists in other Italian cities such as Florence and Siena.
Classical Roman forms blended with the region’s Byzantine artistic tradition and northern Gothic influences to produce a naturalized painting style that was one of the roots of International Gothic in the Sienese school.
The influence of classical Roman forms, along with the Byzantine creative legacy of the area, sparked interest in volumetric, realistic paintings and sculptures in Florence. This work contrasts sharply with the elaborate and flat Gothic, International Gothic, and Byzantine styles.
This naturalism may also be observed in the Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi in Assisi, which was built in the early 13th century in honor of the newly canonized St. Francis.
The interior is designed in the Roman style since the shrine was commissioned by the Roman church. The painters that worked in this church are generally unknown, however at least one group of artists came from Rome.
Because the work at San Francesco was similar to that of Florentine Gothic artist Giotto, he was traditionally attributed with sections of the frescoes, although most scholars today believe he was not involved.
6. Lluís Bru
In 1868, he was born in Ondara, Valencia. His grandpa and father were also painters, and Llus Br may have developed his creative senses from a young age in an attempt to carry on the family legacy.
He went to Barcelona as a kid, but no information about his activities is accessible until the end of 1900, when he was 33 years old.
Br devoted the greatest time and effort to the mosaic art. He traveled to Italy in 1904 to study mosaic technique.
During the Art Nouveau era, Br spent the most of his time finishing orders commissioned by famous architects and intended for the aforementioned noteworthy structures.
Large ornamental panels for facades and interiors, columns covered in extraordinary mosaic patterns, and stunning ceilings and floors for huge public and private buildings were among the commissions.
7. Saimir Strati
Saimir Strati (born 1966) is a mosaic artist from Albania. Strati was born in the Albanian capital of Tirana.
He started his work in Albania, restoring mosaics at the ancient sites of Byllis, Amantia, and Apollonia. He belongs to the British Association of Modern Mosaic.
Strati is mostly a mosaicist, although he also paints. He’s worked with everything from toothpicks to eggshells, compact discs, and porcelain.
Strati is highly influenced by music, and each season is portrayed by a different musical instrument in the mosaic series ‘The Four Seasons,’ based on the Vivaldi concerto. This series was developed over the period of five years.
Another oil painting shows traditional Albanian polyphonic singers. ‘The King’ is an almost 2 metre tall image of Elvis Presley created using over 400 CDs.
His painting ‘Sea Girl’ is based on a folklore from his birthplace of Vlora. The plot is on a young lady who has been separated from her partner. She begs to become a fish in order to cross the sea and reconcile with him. The artwork is constructed entirely of sea glass, which the creator spent years collecting.
‘Peace’ is a signature work of the artist, in which the mosaic of mirror pieces reflects the message of our relationship to peace.
8. José Fúster
José Rodrguez Fuster is a Cuban naive artist who specializes in ceramics, painting, drawing, engraving, and graphic design.
He began studying at the Escuela Nacional de Instructores de Arte in Havana in 1963. He was a member of the Cuban Association of Artists and Craftsmen and a commissary for various shows (ACAA).
Fuster’s art has been shown in various solo exhibits, including Acuarelas y dibujos. Alegra de vivir, which toured many Havana galleries in 1967. Drawings and ceramics were shown at Bucharest’s Opera Theater Hall in 1976.
In 1994, he showed Acuarelas y Cerámicas de Fster at Havana’s Galera Espacio Abierto, Revista Revolución y Cultura. At 1998, he displayed Oil Paintings by Fster in Lyon, France.
His works were shown in 2007 at The North Wall Gallery in Oxford, England, and in 2008 at La Galleria in Pall Mall, London, where he showcased his ceramics and paintings in ‘The colors of Cuba.’
9. Anne Schwegmann-Fielding
Anne Schwegmann-Fielding (born 1967) is a British sculptor and mosaic artist who has worked with discarded materials since the early 1990s.
Schwegmann-Fielding opened her studio in Colchester, Essex, in 1993, only a few years after graduating from Wolverhampton University with a degree in Fine Art.
Her work is inspired by the wasted resources of everyday life, particularly the re-use and recycling of outmoded materials.
This is seen in her transformation of obsolete equipment, instruments, and vehicles into sculptures by applying broken dinnerware, shattered glass, and diamonds to their surfaces.
10. Carrie Reichardt
Carrie Reichardt is a modern artist who works from The Treatment Rooms in London. Reichardt, a member of the Craftivism movement, creates her work using murals, ceramics, screen printing, and graphic design.
She is a passionate supporter of the movement and has staged one of the UK’s few Craftivist shows.
Reichardt studied at Kingston University and graduated from Leeds Metropolitan University with a degree in Fine Art.
As part of the Artists Access to Art Colleges scheme, she was asked to become Artist in Residence at Camberwell Art College in 2009. This program places visual artists and vocalists in higher and further education institutions around England.
She then worked as an Artist in Residence at the Single Homeless Project. As part of her continuous work with the SHP, she has shown at the Whitecross Street Party in Islington.
Carrie Reichardt has lectured on the role of craft and art in protest, most notably in March 2012 at the National Museums Liverpool’s International Women’s Day lectures.
She has also represented the United Kingdom as part of an international group of artists selected to mosaic the Argentinian Government building in Buenos Aires.
Reichardt is most known for her anarchic china, which re-fires old flowery, kitsch, royal, and religious dinnerware with layers of fresh ceramic decals. They are embellished with skulls, witty messages, and political remarks in a “radical use of conventional objects.”