10 Artists to Follow on Instagram
Art addicts with a love for technicolour street art, soft pastel nudes, mid-century minimalism or stark, grainy black and white photography can get their fix on Instagram. But beyond admiring the feeds of international art superstars like Damien Hirst, Petra Collins and Ai Wei Wei, Instagram is also the place to discover emerging Australian artists bursting with talent. Flashes of brilliance from these 10 local artists will make a nice break from the duckface selfies and avocado smash brunch shots that normally fill your feed.
Anne-Marie Zanetti’s photorealistic oil paintings are gripping, finely-observed and painstaking in their detail. There’s something dangerous and alluring in her deconstructed, photorealistic watermelons. What happened to the red flesh? Who tore it apart like that? Why has it been left, ravished and juicy, in the dark? Fruit has never been so steeped in mystery. Her Instagram feed contains works in progress and close-up detail from finished paintings mixed with refreshing moments of ordinary life. Based in Brisbane, Zanetti’s work has been shown in Lethbridge Gallery and you can also find it here on bluethumb.
Anthony “the mess is the message” Lister paints on canvas, paper and public walls. Mentored by Max Gimblett, his work has been exhibited all over the world and bought by the likes of Pharrell Williams. His howling, kissy, pulpy, bubblegum faces on brick walls exist in uncanny valley, somewhere between human and alien. Lister didn’t get on with Brisbane City Council, however, who brought a damages case against him for his street art, but we think one day they’ll recognise the benefits of free public art, whether commissioned or not. He is currently based in Sydney and you can buy his expressionistic pop art by clicking the link in his Instagram profile.
Laura Jones’s Instagrammed world is drenched in flowers, real and painted. Her 14,000 or so Instagram followers are treated to snaps of her works in progress, paintings finished and hung in gently rustic gallery spaces, and the occasional kelpie in the back of a ute. The prolific Sydney-born artist has a masters in fine arts, has had ten solo exhibitions in the past five years and residencies in the US and Greece. Follow her for delicious, perfectly balanced drenches of colour and a unique insight into the artistic life.
American-born Kim Leutwyler’s Instagram feed is a riot of colour so bright it’s almost brutal. She’ll often upload sections of her artwork like puzzle pieces, best observed on a big screen for full impact. Leutwyler migrated to Australia four years ago and her semi-abstracted portraits exploring beauty, gender and Queer identity have won awards and gained her over 5,000 Instagram followers. A particular favourite is a modernist painting with a 1970s feel of a woman in boy short underpants, illuminated by the glow of a refrigerator light as she searches for a midnight snack, the walls around her covered in claustrophobic graffiti scrawls. You can buy Leutwyler’s work right here on bluethumb.
#IStandWithTheArts Independent artists and organisations fuel the diversity of creative thought and ideas in Australia’s arts community. We must ensure that a wide-range of voices are heard, rather than just a select few. ‘On May 13 this year, 50% of the previously supported small to medium arts companies did not receive funding as a result of the government’s cuts to the Australia Council.’ These cuts impact a number of cultural and educational institutions as well as artists and innovators. Here are some steps you can take to support the arts on a National Day of Action on June 17, until election day on July 2: o Sign the ‘art changes lives’ petition on change.org o Share your concerns with your local media or on social media with #istandwiththearts and #ausvotesarts o Write an email or letter of support for the arts to your local candidates o Write to the Arts Minister: [email protected] o Vote for the candidates with the best arts policies on July 2 A photo posted by Kim Leutwyler (@carlosbob) on
Matt Adnate’s huge realist spray-painted murals adorn several of Melbourne’s public buildings. He cites his influences as Caravaggio and his style as chiascuro, the Italian Renaissance portraiture technique of strong contrast between light and dark. His 58,000 Instagram followers vicariously experience what it’s like to sit on scaffolding with a mask and a can of spray paint and painstakingly capture the expressions of everyday people, 50 feet high.
Saturate yourself in perfect interiors and cooling shades of blue and grey by following Kerry Armstrong’s Instagram feed. After one glimpse of Kerry’s unparalleled instinct for aesthetic pleasure you’ll be wildly filling your house with mid century modern furniture and wishing you had a pair of French doors to the garden so your new abstract impressionist paintings would be displayed to greatest effect. You can catch her solo show at Poliform this month if you live in Melbourne.
Giiiiirrrrrlllllll on wire xx #passion #belgianlinen A photo posted by Kerry Armstrong (@kerryarmstrongart) on
Indulge in all your late capitalist fantasies with CJ Hendry’s giant, hyperreal drawings of Louboutins and Hermes handbags. Almost entirely in black and white, her Instagram feed will have you drooling, and no wonder, because her crisp, deceptively simple monochromatic Instagram aesthetic is how she got her big break and sold her first piece. Before her rise to cult artist status, Hendry sold her entire wardrobe of designer clothes to fund six months’ worth of art practice – and it paid off. She now sells her drawings for tens of thousands of dollars. Kanye West apparently bought her drawing of a $100 bill with his face on it.
Never a Barbie with a head in the Hendry house #THETROPHYROOM #worldsmostfamoustoy A photo posted by cj hendry (@cj_hendry) on
Speaking of Kanye, Scott Marsh’s mural “Kanye loves Kanye” is brightening up Teggs Lane, Sydney with some rapper self-love. Marsh’s unique style and colour scheme combined with the profile his public artworks have earned him have attracted over 16,000 Instagram followers, who are treated to his take on pop culture and the cult of the celebrity, with the odd cute pic of a puppy in a Bunnings basket thrown in. You can pick up his originals for around $700 or just enjoy the punky flowers and electric portraits via his Instagram feed.
? thanks @art_wine_cheese_bar teggs lane, Chippendale. #sydney @kanyedoingthings #jenlewis #kanyewest #kanye #yeezy #yeezyboost #lifeofpablo The meme used as reference for this painting was created by @thisjenlewis from original ? by @merrittography ✌?️ thanks guys! A photo posted by Scott Marsh (@scottie.marsh) on
The best thing about Loribelle Spirovski’s feed is watching her portraits come together, from the scratchy brushstroke bones of a hollow-eyed skull to a flesh-and-bone man’s face, or the video close-up of a pair of haunted eyes in a plethora of colours. Death, and the closeness of decay, is a theme running underneath many of her paintings, made explicit in her portraits where the skull is visible below the surface of the skin, but she’s not at all morbid. There’s humour in Spirovski’s work too, such as in her self-portrait with a towel on her head, reminiscent of Girl with a Pearl Earring. As well as following Spirovski on Instagram, you can buy her work on bluethumb.
Progression of alla prima self-portrait #igmasters #ig_masterpiece #fashionaddict #fashion #igworldclub #art #artofvisuals #art_spotlight #artist #artistsoninstagram #artistsofinstagram #artistic #artwork #art_collective #arts_gallery #arts_gallery #igers #igdaily #igersoftheday #nude #igmasters A photo posted by Loribelle Spirovski (@loribellespirovski) on
David Collins’s photographs are a Bacchanal feast of naked bodies, jewellery, flowers and dancing with a striking contrast of light and dark. If you want to sex up your Instagram feed with subliminal messages encouraging you to go on a Dionysian rampage into wild, heady darkness and lusty excess, Perth-born Collins is your artist.
Snow Globe. 2009. www.davidcharlescollins.com #art #photography #collage #davidcharlescollins A photo posted by David Collins (@davidcharlescollins) on