The Ibanez Artist series (AR series) is a series of electric guitars produced by Hoshino Gakki, first introduced in 1974. It was one of the first series of original models by Ibanez, breaking Ibanez' copy tradition of the early seventies and before. It is Ibanez' own version of the Gibson Les Paul model.
Originally, the Artist series did not only contain the now classic "Artist shaped" models, but also other body shapes like the first Iceman models and various semi-hollow models. By 1979, most of these models were issued as separate series, including the similar named Artist Semi-Acoustic series. By then, the four digit numeral model names were also replaced with the now standard AR + model number format.
Due to popularity of the various Superstrat models of the early nineties, production of Artist models halted in 1992. It was ultimately reintroduced in 1998. Since then, it spawned all kinds of variants, including AX series, also in 1998, the ARC, ART and ARX series in 2006 and 2007, and the ARZ series in 2011.