The decade starts with a stiff worldwide recession as the Japanese speculative bubble pops. By the middle of the decade, the world figures out how to use the internet and send emails, which leads to the new economy and the dotcom boom.
With the art world becoming increasingly commercialized, the 90s saw an explosion of new concepts and statements in art. With more popular attention and media directed at them than ever before, artists increasingly sought out subjects from their daily life, their personal lives and work environment such as that expressed by Vanessa Beecroft. Themes relating to existential sensibilities were also popular, such as those by Mona Hatoum and James Nachtwey.
Photography became recognized as an independent artistic medium, with record prices paid for photographs by Thomas Struth, and Andreas Gursky - both of whom were students of Bernd and Hilla Becher.
Young British Art, such as that from Damien Hirst, made its entry, with key works fetching extremely high prices.
Globalization challenged the hegemony of the Euro-American avant garde, with artists from Asia (Takashi Murakami, Cai Guo-Quiang), Africa (Yinka Shonabare, William Kentridge) and Latin America (Miguel Angel Rios, Ernesto Neto) placing their indelible stamp on the contemporary art scene.