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.
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
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
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.
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
View this post on Instagram
Arsheef is pleased to announce Turning on the Light, a group show running from 14 November to 5 December 2019. The show is our inaugural exhibition for our gallery. We’re proud of all Yemeni artists who continue to produce art in times of conflict. . Inquiries are welcome via DM or email. ? Bashayer Mohsen, untitled, home from home series, 2019 #Arsheefyemen
The traditional gallery model of a storefront on the street is quickly becoming outdated.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.
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.”
Art history has traditionally been a big fan of nudity, Instagram however, is not.
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
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)
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