Instagram art

Instagram can be an extension of how an artist represents him or her self, but also as an extension of their art practice itself. Instagram seems to have managed to democratize the art world by allowing every artist the same chance of exposure. Artists now have new ways of seeing and creating the kind of content that might be shared. They can check in on how their content is being evaluated straight away. Is it the equivalent for the art world to what Spotify did for music and Netflix for the film industry? Thanks to the platform, artists have gotten book deals with prestigious publishers, solo shows, and made direct sales by DM. They get instant gratification when posting artwork and getting likes.  However, some say this spoils the work; it’s been seen too much. Some artists are also getting ripped off by other artists as well as corporate creatives and big fashion brands. Museums exhibitions are designed to spread well on social media. Instagrammability becomes more important. Successful Instagrammers are invited to take photos of the latest exhibitions to appeal to the younger generation. Some artists will just show their regular work while others make content just for the app. Anonymity can be an attraction for artists to try things they would not do under their own name, but censorship from Instagram can be a hindrance. When naked women’s breasts are involved, the image gets removed or the user blocked. Socio-political issues like body-shaming, racism, homophobia, climate change or species extinction are also tackled on Instagram. I have written about Feminist artists on social media before and I will feature some below again.
Photos of artworks are a big challenge for any Instagrammer, one has to “contextualize” the work. A frontal shot of a painting does not get enough likes. The image must have the “wow effect”.  Put it in relation to its surroundings, architecture or people. So that people can even recognize the dimensions of a work of art. Pictures of people in front of a work with the hashtag #artwatchers. Sometimes people seem to merge with the work because of there clothes or the pose they take. Art can be reduced to just a beautiful background for a selfie.
Many Big-name artists have embraced the medium. Cindy Sherman, who invented the selfie genre even before smartphones even existed has 261k followers. Ai Weiwei has 518k followers, Martin Creed, 1.2k
and Jeff Koons has 341k followers. When Banksy (6.2m followers) automatically shredded his image in the frame after the auction he announced this first on Instagram. They all do not just show on Instagram, they play with the self-presentation and their works.
And sometimes Instagram art makes it back into the physical space. Controversially Richard Prince blew up screenshots of other people’s Instagrams and showed them under the title “New Portraits” at  Frieze Art Fair New York in 2015.
Here are some examples of different kind of accounts I have talked about.   
Ai Weiwei does not show his work on Instagram, but migrants on the Greek island of Lesbos or a video of the destruction of his Beijing studio.
Martin Creed has very short videos and funny images of himself on his personal account and sometimes of his work too.
Cindy Sherman has been using Instagram to show images, unlike anything she has created in her long and successful career so far.
After Petra Collins Instagram account was removed when she posted an unwaxed in a bikini selfie she wrote an essay, speaking out against misogyny.
Kliu Wong account consists of colorful paintings, illustrations, zines, murals dolls and items of clothing.
Anabel Venegas and Tina Maria Elena Bak show their erotic watercolors and drawings and sell directly via DM or webshop.
Jordan Watson aka. Love Watts shows a mixture of art in all its forms.
Martin Skauen Martymixx on Instagram makes cartoons and animations.
What images want challenges the presentation and perception of art, creating an immersive experience beyond the exhibition.
no.projekt might not be a project but is an intriguing account that can be seen as an artwork in itself.
Witte Wartena shows mainly his newest work with occasional making of videos and photos and sometimes his reference material.
Daniel Rueda + Anna Devís interact with art and architecture in beautiful and funny ways.
Stefan Draschan photographs people in museums looking at art that mimic the work in some way or another.
Frida Orupabo showed a nine-channel installation at the Venice Biennale based on her Instagramming. Probably the first Instagram work was shown at such an important art Exhibition.

Art Basel 2019

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Booth E5
Works by Daniel Buren, Julie  Mehretu and Richard Serra

Galerie Michael Haas
Booth F4

Works by Paula Modersohn Becker, Jean Fautrier, Pablo Picasso, Anselm Kiefer, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Eva Aeppli Antonita Pies, and Jean Miro

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Booth K4

Works by Mamma Andersson, Melvin Edwards, Andreas Eriksson, Denzil Forrester, Tom Friedman, Wayne Gonzales, Jim Hodges, Deborah Roberts, Yinka Shonibare, Jiro Takamatsu, Kehinde Wiley, and Luiz Zerbini.

Screenshot 2019-06-13 at 11.48.41P.P.O.W. gallery
Booth D7

Work by Betty Tompkins, Carolee Schneemann, David Wojnarowicz, and Robin F. Williams


Andrea Bowers Open Secret (2018)
Kaufmann Repetto, Andrew Kreps, and Susanne Vielmetter
Unlimited U62

Writer and marketing Helen Donahue tweeted that Bowers did not have permission to use her photo in this installation. The work includes details about recent accusations of sexual harassment and assaults recording the evolution of #MeToo and Time’s Up.

Bowers replaced Donahue’s photos with one focused on David Blaine. In a statement, Bowers said, “I, Andrea Bowers would like to apologize to the survivor whose image was included in my piece. I should have asked for her consent. She has asked that the panel including her photo be removed and I have honored the request. I have reached out privately and am very much looking forward to listening.”

Venice Biennale 2019

Although the main exhibition “May You Live in Interesting Times”, curated by London’s Hayward Galleries Ralph Rugoff, at the Arsenale was very disappointing. It was just a selection of works trying to make a big impact with no apparent connection to each other.

However, there was plenty of good work on show at some of the other locations and pavilions.

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Belgian Pavilion
Installation “Mondo Cane” by Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys.

The show takes its title from the 1962 Italian documentary Mondo Cane (Tales of the Bizarre: Rites, Rituals and Superstitions). It explores a dysfunctional male, pale and stale society under attack by retarded individuals, religious fanatics, beggars, and fools.


Estonian Pavilion
Installation by Kris Lemsalu

Lemsalu invited a team of her friends, writers, artists, and curators to work together with her on this project to create something more meaningful than anyone could do alone. The weird haunting sculptures are totems of the collective workings of Lemsalu, Sarah Lucas curator Irene Campolmi the writer Andrew Berardini, and others.

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Ghana Pavillion at the Arsenale
Paintings by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

Ghana who has a pavilion at Venice for the very first time. It features films by John Akomfrah, paintings by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and black-and-white portraits by, Ghana’s first professional female photographer Felicia Abban from the 1960s.


Icelandic Pavilion
Chromo Sapiens – Hrafnhildur Arnardóttir / Shoplifter.

The work consists of sculptures, wall murals, and site-specific installations made of both synthetic and natural hair. It explores themes of vanity, self-image, fashion, beauty, and popular myth.

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Lithuanian Pavillion
Sun & Sea (Marina) by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė, Vaiva Grainytė and Lina Lapelytė.

Winner of the Golden Lion for Best National Contribution. The performance is described as a beech opera about climate change. Visitors view the scene from a mezzanine as if floating in a drone. Down there is a whole beach piled with people meet on a beach vacation singing arias with ironic lyrics.


Slovenian Pavilion
Here we go again… SYSTEM 317 by Marko Peljhan.

The works on show are from the Resolution series which have evolved over 20 years into a process involving mapping of “signal territories”. The work analyses the role of technology in society and the potentials of technology in art to confront the systems of governance.

Two artists that did speak to me at the main show where:

Screenshot 2019-05-12 at 10.54.41.pngJill Mulleady, The Fights was Fixed

Naive figurative paintings full of references to other artworks.


Ian Cheng.jpgLife After BOB: First Tract Installation by Ian Cheng

Comic based work that tells a fantastical and fascinating story.


Artists who work in different disciplines

Some creative creators work simultaneously in completely two or more different art forms.

The list of musicians, who went to art school is long. It includes John Lennon, Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Ronnie Wood, Syd Barrett, Keith Richards, David Byrne, Kanye West, Pete Townsend, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Chuck D, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett. Other musicians, like Bob Dylan, Patti Smith, Paul McCarthy, and David Bowie, also worked as visual artists but were self-taught. Rapper Tupac studied acting, poetry, jazz, and ballet at the Baltimore School of The Arts.

Other multitalented musicians are; Nick Cave who writes screenplays and novels, Amanda Palmer also an author and performance artist and Yoko Ono is a multimedia artist as well as a singer/songwriter.

yoko-ono-1.jpgYoko Ono

There are likewise many actors who work in other practices.
Dennis Hopper was a director, writer, editor, photographer, and fine artist. Jemima Kirke from the HBO’s series “Girls” is also a really talented painter. Juliette Binoche works as, dancer, poet, and painter too. Antonio Banderas composes music and writes poetry.  He is currently studying at Central Saint Martins in London to study menswear fashion. James Franco works across media including painting, drawing, film, sculpture, installation, and photography. He has a Ph.D. in English from Yale and a master’s degree from Tisch School of the Arts.

celebrities_dual_talents_1806904_dd.jpgJemima Kirke

Film directors including James Cameron, Terry Gilliam, Ridley Scott, Peter Greenaway also make art. David Lynch studied painting at college, beginning his studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 1964 and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts

Artists who have made the switch to directing include Sam Taylor Wood, Tracey Emin, Steve McQueen, Damien Hirst, Julian Schnabel, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Douglas Gordon. Gordon also developed a stage work for the theatre.

Screenshot 2019-03-30 at 12.15.17.pngSteve McQueen

Can achievement in one field be enough to be accepted in another?

Edmund de Waal is very successful with his porcelain installations. He is represented by Gagosian gallery. However, he became better-known to a wider audience as a writer with his books ‘The Hare with Amber Eyes’ and ‘The White Road’.

a-place-made-fast-2-2_SF-edit.jpgEdmund de Waal

Maybe all creative people are multitalented and should not have to do just one thing. However, by doing multiple things at once one can risk not finding satisfaction or never mastering anything. Some might want to target all their energy on one goal, channeling the numerous talents to the primary pursuit. On the other hand, spending a bit of time learning about and practicing a different art form can free you up artistically. Try not to stress about being great, just focus on finding release.

Laurie Anderson initially trained as a sculptor is an experimental performance artist, director, writer, actress, composer, and musician. She plays the violin and keyboards and sings.

She says: “if you want to be pinned down as one thing or another. It’s hard to create an image that is so concrete and stable.” 

CaptureLaurie Anderson

Or as Composer Richard Wagner said; “Whatever my passions demand of me, I become for the time being – musician, poet, director, author, lecturer or anything else.”  

A visit to Mexico City

Jumex Museum
At the Jumex Museum in Mexico City Michael Smith’s cheeky installation “Imagine The View From Here” just came down. A deeply mocking and heavily irony-laden piss-take on corporate culture meets art world curatorial practices meets real estate development. 20190303_182325His fake companies and his false personae of “Mike Smith” (an aging millionaire with disposable income to invest after he retires ) complete with mock videos and artificial corporate promotional installations that wouldn’t look out of place at all in any convention center conference. 20190303_181106.jpgIt all purports to sell timeshare lofts at the Jumex Museum itself with 24/7 curatorial services included. The levels of art-meets-life-meets-art etc ad nauseam perfectly fit the current international art explosions economic and corporate cultural climate and thus seems almost to close to the (probable) truth.
Also, I was very impressed with a gallery showing works selected from the museum’s permanent collection.
Museo Nacional de la Estampa

Demian Flores, an exceptional printmaker from Juchitan, Oaxaca shows a wide selection of woodblocks, woodblock prints, lithographs, etchings, silkscreen prints, and works that combine these techniques at the Museo Nacional de la Estampa, Mexico City. 20190306_104240.jpgMany works play with combining referents from Pre-Columbian history with those from modernity: Aztec era references collide with contemporary imagery. Time is compressed and the past is refracted with the present. In one series of lithographs he has taken the images of 14 etchings that were made in Spain in the 1600s that were modeled on the writings of conquistadors and Flores has added in found images from the Aztec era, from WW1 and WW2, as well as some from more contemporary social conflicts. 20190306_105412.jpgThese works offer surreal a-temporal narratives slyly conflating the kind of blatant racism, power politics and overtly fascistic social control mechanisms from the early days of colonialism with those of both the 20th century and by inference with those of today.


-Nikolas Soren Goodich, March 2019


2019 Armory Show

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The Breeder
Booth 612

Works by Andreas Angelidakis, Ariana Papadimetropoulos, and Kyle Vu-Dunn

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Booth 711

Works by Nevin Aladag, Miriam Böhm, Mariechen Danz, Axel Geis, Karl Haendel, Gregor Hildebrandt, John McAllister, and David Renggli

Screenshot.jpgTwo Palms
Booth 715

Works by Carroll Dunham, Mel Bochner, David Row, Stanley Whitney, Cecily Brown, Elizabeth Payton, Terry Winters, and Cameron Jamie

unnamed.jpgGalerie Ron Mandos
Booth 722

Works by Muntean/Rosenblum, Anthony Goicolea, Hans Op de Beeck, and Sebastiaan Bremer
Screenshot 2019-03-07 at 10.09.03.jpgGalerie Eigen+ Art
Booth 801

Works by Tom Anholt, Birgit Brenner, Martin Eder, Uwe Kowski, Melora Kuhn, Olaf Nicolai, Nicola Samorì, Titus Schade, Kai Schiemenz, David Schnell, and Bosco Sodi


Will the new director of the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam be female?

Beatrix Ruf

Two artistic directors prematurely left the museum in recent time: Ann Goldstein (left in 2013) and Beatrix Ruf (in 2017). The former because of communication problems, the latter because she was accused of having conflicts of interest within the art market.
Who will be her successor? It’s unlikely they will go for a foreigner again. They may not for a woman again either, but who could be possible female candidates?
Although born in Bruges Belgium (1975) I think Ann Demeester is the most likely to take up the position. She is verbal gifted, socially committed and very experienced. She is now the director of the Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem. Before that, she successfully led the Amsterdam art center, De Appel.
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Another strong candidate would be Hester Alberdingk Thijm. Currently Director AkzoNobel Art Foundation. As well as among many other posts, vice-chair of the board of trustees for the Fries Museum / Prinsessehof and a member of the Mondriaan Fund Supervisory Board.

Screenshot 2019-02-24 at 17.29.04Mariëtte Dölle might be ready for a new challenge. Sine 2016 she is the director of Museum Kranenburgh in Bergen. She worked as artistic director of TENT platform for contemporary art Rotterdam before that. One of her other roles is as an advisor for The Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK).

2010tzansink2balkArt historian Emily Ansenk would also be a great choice. The director of the Kunsthal in Rotterdam was director of the privately owned Frisia Museum before she being appointed in 2009. There she helped develop and build up the collection and the museum.

763The last name I want to highlight here is Deirde Carasso the director of the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam. The art historian started her career at the Nationaal Archief before moving to Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in 2006.

Other names to look out for are:

  • Angelique Spaninks the director of MU and Strijp S. in Eindhoven.
  • Meta Knol the director of Museum De Lakenhal in Leiden.
  • Patty Wageman the director of Museum de Buitenplaats in Eelde.
  • Lisette Pelsers the director of the Kröller-Müller Museum in Otterlo.
  • Saskia Bak the director of Museum Arnhem.
  • Carin Reinders the director of Museum CODA in Apeldoorn.
  • Els van Odijk former director of the Rijksacademie Amsterdam.
  • Jet Bussemaker former minister of culture in the Netherlands
  • Birgit Donker former director of the Mondriaan Fund.