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How to Discover Up-And-Coming Artists on Instagram Before All Your Friends
We’re here to toss you a lifeline of some of our best tips and tricks...
Art Stuff 05 Jul 2018


Luckily, it’s 2018 and you don’t need to live in an art capital like New York, Berlin or Hong Kong to stay in the know about all the latest shows and exhibits. With the blessing and curse that is social media, it’s never been easier to discover new artwork from the comfort of your own home. That said, Instagram is a jungle – on your quest for fresh inspiration, it’s all too easy to get sucked into the digital quicksand of boozy brunches, exotic vacations and cute kids.
Curated pages and museum account might do the hard work for you, but the downside of getting all your daily servings of art from MoMA and artnet is that you’ll never taste the sweet, sweet satisfaction of being that friend—the one who’s always one step ahead, effortlessly in the know, somehow managing to dredge up news and trends before they break.
But have no fear—we’re here to toss you a lifeline of some of our best tips and tricks for finding fresh #content to keep you from drowning in a sea of endless memes.


Tag! Pick an art-related hashtag (#girlgaze is one of our go-tos) and scroll through recently tagged photos. You’ll come across work from all over the world, which will definitely come in handy next time you want to pretend you spent your summer holiday jet-setting to world-class art destinations when really you’ve been enjoying a nice, leisurely staycation from the comfort of your couch.

Typically, this method ends up snowballing as you come across a work you like, which leads you to the artist, which leads you to more artists from their tagged photos… you get the picture.
The downside is that, obviously, not everyone uses hashtags, and many of the accounts that do are trying to get their name out there. It makes for weeding through a lot of chaff to get to the hidden gems—but when you strike gold, you’re sure to be the first.


Location, location, location. For all their originality, artists are like sheep in just one regard—they flock together. Just watch Chelsea Girls.

I rest my case. With a bit of online sleuthing, you can easily pin down both the world-renowned gallery districts in cities like London and New York and the art neighborhoods in smaller or medium-sized cities, which will probably lead to more underground work than the Bushwicks of the world. Once you have your area, peruse the photos tagged at that location for a little virtual gallery hopping (this also works for scoping out an exhibition at a museum that you can’t make in person).
Besides finding new artists, you’ll also be able to offer up an original opinion about a show across the country—or the world—at the next gala/dinner/cocktail party while everyone else is regurgitating whatever Jerry Saltz wrote.


Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Got a favorite curator, magazine editor or even an arty friend? Peep their list of followed accounts and you’re guaranteed to stumble upon some hidden gems… but, obviously, you won’t be the first to make the discovery, so this method works best for gathering inspiration for your own purposes, not showing off to your friends.


#girlgang. An artist’s tagged photos are a treasure box of discoveries waiting to be rifled through, comparable to stumbling upon vintage Céline in your grandma’s closet. Once you’ve found a few new art crushes, take a quick gander through their tagged photos, followers and followed and lightning will definitely strike twice.

Text by Katya Lopatko 
Photos via culturetrip.com, awesomedaily.com

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