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 joinsyes, you read that right.

And btw … ahem… you can always follow me (@hragv ) and Hyperallergic (@hyperallergic) on Instagram.

Some Artists

There are many but these are some of my faves.

A pic on Ai Weiwei’s Instagram feed

Ana Bagayan @anabagayan (website) (Twitter) — A LA-based artist with a taste for little girls with moist eyes, you really get a sense of what she is working on and looking at in her stream.

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.

Gaia @gaiastreetart (website) — This prolific street artist is known for his oversized Hippogriff-like concoctions on the street. They are striking and his stream reflects his energetic nature.

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?

Saber @saberawr (website) (Twitter) — LA-based graffiti artist with a colorful and exuberant style that pops.

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.

Ai Weiwei @aiww (website) (Twitter) — Is there a social media network he isn’t on? His Instagram makes the case that he (or one of his assistants) is a big ol’ hipster — the photo above is proof.

Some Photographers

Yes, I know they’re artists too but photographers were made for Instagram so they get their own special category.

Mexico always looks fabulous in @zaruhy‘s stream.

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?).

Borojaguchi @borojaguchi (Twitter) — Fall in love with Tokyo through this web director’s stream.

Jimmy Chin @jimmy_chin (website) (Twitter) — A National Geographic photographer who creates a lot of WOW images.

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.

@Cmonstah‘s stream is kinda like this.

Kyle Chayka @kchayka (website) (Twitter) — Assistant editor at Artinfo, Chayka’s stream is filled with art, ennui and casual moments in the life of a New York art writer.

Sarah Douglas @sarahldouglas (on NY Observer) (Twitter) — The Culture editor of the New York Observer, Douglas’s stream is not updated daily but it’s fun.

Veken Gueyikian @veken (website) (Twitter) — Ok, he’s not an arts writer but he is our publisher and I’m married to him and he’s adorable.

Marina Galperina @mfortki (on Animal NY) (Twitter) — More personal pic diary than art stream, Galperina is all about the personal moment turned public.

Alexis Hyde @hydeordie (website) (Twitter) — This LA-based blogger gives you a window into her world, which is filled with junk food, gallery hoping and stuff LA peeps do (like drive?).

Paddy Johnson @artfagcity (website) (Twitter) — Her feed is much better than it used to be but I personally want see more art on it. WTF PJ!? Bring it!!

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.

Jillian Steinhauer @jilnotjill (on Hyperallergic) (Twitter) — Hyperallergic’s assistant editor is rather new to Instagram but she promises to post more. No pressure.

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.

A pic from @brooklynmuseum shows the install of the Jean-Michel Othoniel’s exhibition. (click to enlarge)

Brooklyn Museum @brooklynmuseum (website) (Twitter) — A fun mix of party, art, personality and goings on at Brooklyn’s premiere museum.

Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago @mcachicago (website) (Twitter) — Never enough Chicago in our lives, and MOCA Chicago does its part. More art please.

MoMA @themuseumofmodernart (website) (Twitter) — Not as active as it should be but then again they’re MoMA and they can do what ever the fuck they want. You go, girl!

New Museum @newmuseum (website) (Twitter) — The party stream of Manhattan’s museum on the Bowery. I personal want more freak show and less party shots on this stream … hint, hint.

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.

Printed Matter @printedmatterinc (website) (Twitter) — I wish Printed Matter would photograph every new book (and maybe those on sale?) that comes in. Honestly, that would make me happy. Hint, hint.

Walker Art Center @walkerartcenter (website) (Twitter) — More party photos!

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.

LACMA @lacma (website) (Twitter) — A solid museum feed with tons of art.

Street Art & Graffiti Streams

Instagram is made for street art and graff. Lots of streams. Some meh, some are lovely. Here are my pics.

Some graffiti by Hady Beydoun in Beirut (via @grafspace)

BeirutPost-grafspace @grafspace (website) (Twitter) — A lovely window into the burgeoning world of street art and graffiti in the Lebanese capital and beyond.

Luna Park @luna_park_nyc (website) (Twitter) — Your fix of NYC-area graff and street art.

Miami InstaArt @miamiinstaart (Twitter) — No frills Miami graffiti stream.

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.

NASA shares stunning photos only they can capture, like this (via @nasagoddard)

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.”

A happy Aussie customer at @theFamilyBusinessTattoo shows off his London 2012 Olympics tattoo.

Johnatan Guaida @johnagu (website) (Twitter) — A Mexican architect, Guaida’s stream is an explosion of forms, landmarks and great perspectives.

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!

NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center @nasagoddard (website) (Twitter) — NASA has an Instagram account and there’s tons of cool shit here. ‘nuf said.

Phillips De Pury auction house @phillipsdepury (website) (Twitter) — An auction house with a photostream … let’s see where this goes but so far, so good.

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.

The Latest

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

10 replies on “Who to Follow on Instagram: Art Edition”

  1. We’re not announcing it with great fanfare, but we’ll be taking our first Instagram photos at tomorrow’s Artist Sandcastle Competition in Rockaway. Same handle as on twitter: creativetimeNYC

  2. Ahh! Thanks for the mention, I thought my account was broken this morning when the followers started rolling in. Just a heads up I’ll be instagramming alongside @twitter-151099524:disqus (instagram: creativetimenyc) at tomorrow’s Artist Sandcastle Competition (#CreativeCastles) on Rockaway Beach at the 86th Street Boardwalk. http://on.fb.me/MAmMde

  3. Blimey, that’s quite a list. I guess Twitpic is no rival, then. Can you get Instagram on Android smartphones?

  4. Check out my Instagram video art project! vimeo.com/ryanchesney/enjoythejourney Read the video description and please participate or blog about it if you’d like! :)) Thanks

  5. Follow me on insta)) @hairullingosha
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  6. I’m an artist on Instagram! Um, I’m 17, from Nigeria, i do mostly drawings. FOLLOW ME TOO!
    Thanks 😀 i hope you like my artwork

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