In their heyday, they transformed the British art scene, scandalising the baffled establishment and spinning their much-hyped ideas into a multi-million-pound industry.
But the legacy of the Young British Artists has been tainted by their affect on a new generation, as one of their stars says they made it seem too easy to become rich and famous.
Rachel Whiteread, the first woman to win the Turner Prize, said young artists now want only to be famous, expecting a well-remunerated career in a world of “immediate” art.
Whiteread, who is currently displaying her work at the V&A’s Museum of Childhood, said she “show-offs” of the YBAs, as they have become known, “made it look too easy”.
"Artists now live a very different life to the ones we lived,” she told the Observer. “We had no expectations, we played hard and worked hard.
“Now they expect a career, they expect fame. “I stopped teaching because of that. It seemed students were only interested in being famous."
She added: "We made it look too easy.
"Art was slower then, and better because of it. It wasn't immediate.
“You couldn't 'yes or no' something on Instagram. You had to travel to see it, which makes for a more thoughtful response."
When asked whether there are any great artists emerging today, she told the newspaper: "I don't know. I rarely go round the galleries these days, partly because I'm sick of it. I just like my own stuff!"
In 1993, Whiteread became the first woman to win the Turner Prize, and sparked national cause celebre with House, a life-sized cast of an end-of-terrace property in the East End of London earmarked for demolition.
Along with the likes of Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, Sam Taylor-Wood, Gillian Wearing, Jake and Dinos Chapman, Sarah Lucas, Angus Fairhurst and Michael Landy, she was one of the YBAs to define her generation of artists, exhibiting at the Royal Academy's notorious Sensation exhibition in 1997.
Asked about her 1990s peers by the newspaper, she said: "Art was never seen as a career when I was studying. “Damien [Hirst] had a lot to do with changing the way people thought about it, with his ability to spin anything.
“People like Grayson Perry, who I shared a studio with back when he was still struggling, great show-offs who want to be in the media all the time…
“It's not for me. Damien is a bit quieter now, but you see the residue of him.
“Tracey [Emin] too, these are people who have done a lot to be out in the world spinning a tale, making art an attractive proposition.
"People do what they need to do. I always think of Tracey as the girl in the playground shouting 'Me me me!'
“I'm very fond of her, but she plays on that and it seems to work. People love her for it."
Whiteread’s art work, Place (Village) (2006-2008), a series of around 150 vintage dollhouses built as a community, went on permanent display at the V&A Museum of Childhood this weekend.