How Laurie Simmons, Ryan McGinness, Kenny Scharf, and others are using the photo-sharing network to disseminate their work—and their fixations
Every social network finds its (temporary) niche. Facebook is an information hub and water cooler, salon and reunion; Twitter more suited to bullhorns and banter; Tumblr a multi-media feed of news, curiosities, and cuteness. Instagram is just photos, quick and easy. Reblogging is impossible, captions are minimal, and so are comments. It’s all about the image. And (unless accounts are private) anyone can follow along.
That’s why it’s so alluring a format for artists to share their output, their esthetic, and their obsessions. Familiar names in the Instagram directory include Wangechi Mutu, Takashi Murakami, Ai Weiwei, KAWS, Ryan Trecartin, Erik Parker, Brooke Dunn Parker, Dzine, Renee Cox, Friends with You, Shepard Fairey, Sofia Maldonado, Zoe Strauss, JR, Os Gêmeos, and Sanford Biggers. Some of these artists’ feeds are more casual, some more curated, some more personal, some more promotional. Most are a mix of everything. Here are screenshots from a few that stand out.
Toyin Odutola posts portraits of herself, her family, and her friends.
Ryan McGinness took advantage of the Instagram format to create a new body of work. His feed consists of “grams”: phrases or ideas culled from his sketchbooks and matched with an appropriate typeface. These are rendered in knockout type inside circles. At this writing he had posted 135; he’s going for 2,000.
Hank Willis Thomas makes you wonder what the meaning of is is.
The passions of Shinique Smith.
Body of Work: Daniel Arsham.
Olek, the artist whose medium is crochet.
Nikki S. Lee, whose medium is self-portraits.
Gary Baseman posts photos, paintings, drawings, and other pictures that can “have the viewer learn something personal about me during the course of my day.”
Face time with Kenny Scharf.