Young Artists 2023 Art

Meet the Winner of CULTURED’s Inaugural Young Artists Prize

In the eight years since CULTURED began compiling its annual Young Artists list, the honorees have gone on to stage headline-making exhibitions, launch boundary-breaking initiatives, and direct feature films. This year, CULTURED is introducing a new element to the Young Artists initiative: the inaugural Young Artists Prize. This unrestricted financial award seeks to make the challenge of building a sustainable, uncompromising career just a little bit easier for one extraordinary talent. 

As CULTURED editors put the Young Artists list together year after year, we see the mounting pressures that emerging creators face—including finding their audience and refining their practice while contending with the strains (personal and financial) that accompany periods of transformative growth. With the Young Artists Prize, an award bestowed on an outstanding honoree from CULTURED’s annual list, the magazine does its small part in the monumental task of supporting an artist on their path. 


It was difficult to select a single winner from the remarkable crop that our editors assembled for the list’s eighth edition. To do so, we enlisted the help of a trusted team of advisors: Amy Cappellazzo, founding partner of Art Intelligence Global; Ruba Katrib, curator and curatorial director of MoMA PS1; Nicola Lees, director of the Aspen Art Museum; and artist Mickalene Thomas. They reviewed the work of all 27 artists to identify a creative force whose work reflects the spirit of the prize.

Together with our esteemed jurors, CULTURED is proud to award this year’s inaugural Young Artists Prize to Kahlil Robert Irving. The Fayetteville, Arkansas and Saint Louis, Missouri-based artist turns discarded and found materials into biting social commentary on the experiences of his community. His work—which will be on view next year in solo shows at the Kemper Art Museum in St. Louis, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art in Overland Park, Kansas, and Kiang Malingue in Hong Kong—serves as a testament to the expressive power of ceramics. 


As Kahlil says in his Young Artists profile written by Shirley Ngozi Nwangwa, “I’m constantly reminded that this is a marathon. But I also remember that the world is on fire, and I just gotta do what I can while I can.” 

For more, see the full 2023 Young Artists list, their individual profiles, and advice from past Young Artists honorees.