Further Biographical Context for Martin Mrkva
Martin Mrkva was born in 1989 and was largely influenced by the 1990s. A collective of artists working in the United Kingdom, who came to be known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists, defined the artistic culture of the 1990s. Affiliated loosely by their age and nationality, they were a diverse group of practitioners. A number of the YBAs attended the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths in London, and were favoured by the ‘super collector’ of the time, Charles Saatchi. The most famous member of the group is Damien Hirst, and other members included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Johnson (née Sam Taylor-Wood). The YBAs became famous for their use of shock tactics and sensationalism, alongside their use of throwaway materials, wild lifestyles and an attitude that was defiant yet entrepreneurial. Due to the high amount of media coverage that they received, they dominated British art during the 1990s, and their work was epitomised in the group show ‘Sensation’. The art world was influenced by many trends throughout the decade, and was characterised by the derisive sculpture of Maurizio Cattelan, and sensitive, conceptual advancements as represented in the work of artists such as Felix Gonzalez-Torres.