Tag: Petra Collins

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.

Feminist artists on social media

A new generation of feminist artists have found expression on social media. Censorship and a different approach to the female body in the media is their theme, but they are fighting back. They often get blocked but keep pushing the boundaries of art and what is allowed on the various platforms.

Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 17.48.54.pngPetra Collins

The Cover Girl of the New Feminism Wave. She founded ‘The Ardurous’, an online platform for female artists showcasing projects. Everything is kinda cute and dreamy with teen girl aesthetics.

amalia-ulman-large_trans_NvBQzQNjv4BqYBEWvMdcMFfUabU60-4H7y6FV4BCuS3wfc64Q_cWH3k.jpgAmalia Ulman

Fooling a large number of people with phony selfies made her a hit in the art world. She mindlessly boasted about her apparently fortunate lifestyle in LA. Attending pole-dancing classes and undergoing breast-enlargement surgery.

ValeriePhillips_Arvida-Byström_04.jpgArvida Byström

Has a fondness for pink and glitter, and often uses herself as a subject. Byström’s art has a subversive, couldn’t-care-less attitude. It combines her ’90s aesthetic with a very modern take on femininity, sex, gender, and identity.

Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 17.37.26.pngLeah Schrager

Struggle for a different deal with the female body in the media. She looks for the boundaries between commerce and art. She works with different personas and alter-egos. She studied the aesthetics of porn sites and staged herself as the prototype of the sexy woman. She offers her body as a commodity to the male gaze. 

nodes_JmKaIlnZpN.jpgJessica So Ren Tang

Explores her identity and cultural heritage through intricate embroidery. She recreates familiar Asian American objects and pinup girls but changes the meaning by the use of the material.

tapuz_i.jpgStephanie Sarley

Shares photos and videos of fruits, which she touches with her fingers. She personifies humorously the origin of the world, as Courbet had formulated it. It is about the acceptance of female sexuality. Her goal is, as she says, “Empowering vaginas”.

Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 15.08.28.pngTeen slut

Pink hair, tattooed skin and joint in hand. Alexis Felten developed ‘Teen slut’ on Instagram for her graphic design degree. She and her gang stand out with their 90s-aesthetics.

532013095_780x439.jpgFrances Cannon

The characters in her drawings have nothing to laugh about. They crouch on the ground, sit there crying, or lie thoughtfully with their arms up. Her work is a celebration of sexuality and femininity.

Screen Shot 2017-06-01 at 15.01.35.pngMe and You

Founded by Mayan Toledano and Julia Baylis, two of the members of The Ardurous. The movement has its own fashion label. Inscriptions on sweaters make it clear that they do not want to be touched without consent.


Shows menstrual blood in panties hanging between her legs while she sits on the toilet. Her work deals with gender and classism, pushing the limits of what is acceptable for a female to do and so forth