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The Pros and Cons of Instagram for The Art World
Because those squares sell.
Uncategorized 10 Dec 2019

It’s hard to believe, but once upon a time not so long ago, the art world lived and thrived without Instagram. While followers, likes and online visibility is a huge player in the world of art now, it is only a relatively new thing. But, with the rise and rise of social media, the art world has quickly adapted with Instagram playing a bigger role than any other platform. So, in light of all this, we evaluate the ways in which Instagram is benefitting (and some ways harming) the art world. 
 
THE PROS
Squares Sell

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Brad Pitt

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At a recent networking event in London, a friend of mine (who should know) told me that artworks that are now square in dimension (i.e. perfect for the gram) are enjoying much better sales right now than traditional rectangular works. 
 
Sales Via DM

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#harrystyles and #kendalljenner ?✨?

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Artists no longer necessarily need a gallerist to sell their work. Who wants to bother with giving a 50% cut to an art dealer when the gram acts as your own personal art advisor for free. Many artists are now reporting that they get most of their work through IG, both in terms of sales and commissions.
 
Adding The Youth Factor

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✨✨

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Previously the art world was seen as old and stuffy, but through the gram, institutions are now attracting younger visually addicted souls into the art world.
 
Gallery And Museum Exposure


How many of us have visited a museum or a gallery just to take a picture for the gram? Come on, admit it, we all have. But hey, don’t feel guilty about it, museum numbers are going up thanks to people dedicated to getting that perfect post. 
 
Audience Exposure


Really fancy seeing an exhibition on the other side of the world but don’t have the cash? No problem, see it online through others’ tagged pictures. Thanks to the internet, nothing is really as far away as it seems.
 
Galleries Are Having To Adapt


The traditional gallery model of a storefront on the street is quickly becoming outdated. Since artists are selling online, these old-fashioned traditional galleries are losing their edge. To combat this, many platforms like Arsheef are operating solely via Instagram. And, galleries adapting for the 21st century can only be a good thing.
 
THE CONS 
Image Theft

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why is that such a mood lol

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Since it’s so easy to screenshot something on the gram, artists can easily rip off each others work. It also means images are reposted without credit, which means there is a negative side to this proliferation of online imagery and “exposure.”
 
Censorship


Art history has traditionally been a big fan of nudity, Instagram however, is not. 
 
Galleries Struggle

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#90s #90sbabes

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Artists sell works secretly online, meaning collectors can buy for less money as the artist is now no longer giving their gallerist a cut. Many galleries are finding it difficult to survive in the digital age. 
 
Lack Of Originality


While traditionally art across cultures has differed due to local social climates and trends, because of the internet, all art is beginning to merge into one indistinctive style.
 
Short Attention Spans

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#90s

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Most of us will have noticed our ability to concentrate dwindle in the last few years. And, while this is having an impact on our social skills, it also means that when we are faced with IRL art, we struggle to focus for more than a few minutes, preferring instead to scroll through the gram…. (whoops)
 
OUR VERDICT


The gram isn’t perfect, but hey, who is? We love the gram, and we won’t be abandoning it any time soon. In the digital age, social media has only boosted the art world, connecting it to wider audiences, and given us art girls the opportunity to slide into the DMs of every art girl crush we know 😉
 
Text Lizzy Vartanian

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