Art is no longer only the domain of the professional artist. With the likes of Photoshop and Freshpaint allowing anyone the chance to make their literal mark, and platforms such as Instagram and Tumblr a place to exhibit, the number of people producing works of art in 2014 has been at its highest ever.
Even beyond the computer, evidence of art among traditionally non-arty types has never been more apparent. From amazing tattoos jostling for attention on every other arm to dramatic make-up on the high street once reserved only for the catwalk, expressing oneself through art has become commonplace.
So much so, that the Turner Prize-winning artist Greyson Perry claimed earlier this year that “the formal possibilities of art have been worn out". If that suggests art has had its day, on the contrary. To stand out from the crowd, the artists of 2014 have become more creative than ever before.
Art, however, still remains firmly in the grip of the beholder. Because opinion will always be divided, we've left this list in the hands of the experts (although we’d love you to wade in with your favourite).
All the works of art that follow have won the highest accolade in their field this year as honoured by the industry (and a couple by us here at Huff Post Create – there hasn’t been any awards for quirky art made out of food… yet).
Here’s what it takes to be that good.