I adore Instagram, and while I’m still pondering how the Facebook acquisition will impact this jewel of a smartphone photo-sharing service, here are some art-related people, institutions and accounts you should follow to inject some arty content into the palm of your hand.
A couple of things … first, this list is photographer and street artist heavy because both groups are well suited to Instagram’s pop aesthetic, and second, like any social media list, the picks are subjective, but these are the people I like to follow.
Btw, you have to wonder how cool Instagram is anymore when Iran’s Supreme Leader joins … yes, you read that right.
There are many but these are some of my faves.
Elbowtoe (aka Brian Adam Douglas) @elbowtoe (website) (Twitter) — A smart street artist with the technical skill that translates easily into a gallery (where he normally exhibits intricate collages), Elbowtoe recently became a father so you get to enjoy pics of his twins along with street art, gallery trips and other observations.
Os Gemeos @osgemeos (website) (Twitter) — The Brazilian twins love Instagram. They don’t talk back to their followers much though, which is unfortunate. Ever notice that they use a hell of a lot of yellow in their work. Why?
Hank Willis Thomas @hankwthomas (website) (Twitter) — I’m an admirer of artist Hank Willis Thomas and I like the personal insight his stream offers. Nature shots galore and well-framed shots are what keep me coming back for more but I’m open to whatever else he has in store for us.
Yes, I know they’re artists too but photographers were made for Instagram so they get their own special category.
The New Yorker @newyorkermag (website) (Twitter) — This magazine has placed its Instagram account in the hands of its photographers. According to Petapixel, “Every few weeks, the account will be passed on to a new staff photographer who will use it to document the things they see as they shoot assignments.” I’m not sure what they’ve achieved so far but it’s pretty (too pretty?).
Jake Dobkin @jakedobkin (website) (Twitter) — There’s an almost proudly half amateur/half pro aesthetic at work in Dobkin’s photostream and that’s the appeal to me. He’s the publisher of Gothamist, btw, and there’s always lots of street art in the mix. I adore that his stream is Brooklyn-heavy.
Sam Horine @samhorine (website) (Twitter) — A New York photographer par excellence, I was first introduced to Horine’s work through the street art scene but he does a whole lot more. He’s one of the most popular people on Instagram (186,000+ followers) and he was on it practically when it started. His stream is pure joy.
Zaruhy Sangochian @zaruhy (Facebook Page) (Twitter) — An architectural photographer based in Mexico City, Sangochian is one of my favorite finds on Instagram. She shows me a side of Mexico I never get to see … and I love it.
Some of My Fave Art Writers
I wish there were more art writers on Instagram but there aren’t. I guess it’s normal that writers aren’t always good photographers but some could at least try.
Carolina Miranda @cmonstah (website) (Twitter) — I will never forgive her for moving from Brooklyn to LA, but I will stay abreast of the latest visual developments in her life via Instagram (she’s currently in Peru, for instance). Little known fact about Miranda is she is fluent in artspeak.
Some Museums & Orgs
I do wish most museums and arts organizations would be more creative with Instagram, but something is better than nothing I guess.
Brooklyn Museum @brooklynmuseum (website) (Twitter) — A fun mix of party, art, personality and goings on at Brooklyn’s premiere museum.
Storefront for Art and Architecture @storefrontnyc (website) (Twitter) — This beloved Soho museum devoted to architecture and design really loves Instagram, so follow to get a taste of life in this small but amazing institution.
SFMoMA @sfmoma (website) (Twitter) — If it’s digital, then SFMoMA is probably all over it. As the leading contemporary art museum in the Bay Area (which includes Silicon Vallery) it only seems natural.
Street Art & Graffiti Streams
Instagram is made for street art and graff. Lots of streams. Some meh, some are lovely. Here are my pics.
NOLA Graffiti @nolagraffiti — New Orleans-area graff never looked so good.
Vandalog @vandalog (website) (Twitter) — Mostly East Coast, Vandalog does travel and there are often London pics in the mix. Curated by the site’s editor, RJ, there’s always something good to look at.
Other Fun Follows
Other accounts you should check out.
Donald Burke @awesomedonald — A Canadian in Berlin, Donald takes a lot of street art shots and it’s always great to see what’s going on in Germany’s artistic powerhouse.
Samantha Culp @newterritories (website) (Twitter) — Blogger Samantha Culp is based in Shanghai and captures the textures of her corner of the world quite well. If I move to Shanghai, it will be because of her.
Kim Drew @blackqueerdo — I just discovered Drew’s stream and boy do I love it. Art, personality and a good eye.
The Family Business Tattoo Parlor @thefamilybusinesstattoo (website) (Twitter) — The stream of this London tattoo parlor has been Olympic rings-heavy recently but it’ll probably be back to business for this joint that seems to take its tattoo culture seriously (though not too serious). Their slogan tells you all you need to know: “Tasteful tattooing for first timers, old timers and serious collectors.”
Kenia Lashes @kenialashes — She does nails for a living in Cincinnati, she’s new to Instagram and the stuff she does and photographs is pretty wild. Enter the world of nails!
Text-Only Instagram @textinstagram (Twitter feed) — When our writer wrote about the service, she hit the nail on the head, “We know, without seeing, what we should be seeing.” It’s a fun account that lampoons the stereotypes of this online service in a rather conceptual way.
Gerry Visco @gerryvisco (Facebook Page) (Twitter) — A New York social diva, Visco has never found a fun moment she doesn’t want to instantly click and upload. Her friends are as much fun as she is and the pics capture every friggin’ frame.