ART GALLERY 2.0

IN­STA­GRAM’S RISE AS A PLAYER IN THE ART WORLD GOES BE­YOND THE DIG­I­TAL REALM.

The Peak (Singapore) - - Contents -

In­sta­gram’s rise as a player in the art world goes be­yond the dig­i­tal realm.

With over 1 bil­lion users and grow­ing, In­sta­gram has emerged as an un­ex­pected player in the art world, by­pass­ing tra­di­tional gate­keep­ers such as gal­leries and auc­tion houses to con­nect artists and col­lec­tors, one “like” at a time.

Given that the pop­u­lar so­cial me­dia plat­form was built to be a vis­ually driven medium, it lends it­self nat­u­rally to the show­case of art­works. “You can lit­er­ally skip the gal­leries,” says Gabriel Du­fourcq, a 36-year-old vis­ual artist whose works have been ex­hib­ited at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, France, and the Sin­ga­pore Af­ford­able Art Fair.

“One gallery might have its own net­work, per­haps a data­base of a few thou­sand col­lec­tors. But those col­lec­tors are also on In­sta­gram,” says the French­man, who is not rep­re­sented by a gallery and re­lies on his In­sta­gram ac­count and word-of­mouth to reach col­lec­tors. His most re­cent col­lec­tion of art­works fea­tures acrylic paint­ings of such pop cul­ture and po­lit­i­cal icons as Lee Kuan Yew and The Bea­tles, jux­ta­posed against vin­tage news­pa­per cutouts of ar­ti­cles profi ling those per­son­al­i­ties. To date, Du­fourcq has sold art­works – rang­ing from $1,200 to $10,000 – to buy­ers from ter­ri­to­ries such as Hong Kong, Brazil and the United States.

There are col­lec­tors who wouldn’t dream of mak­ing a blue-chip pur­chase based on a jpeg file, but Du­fourcq be­lieves that the ex­ploratory na­ture of the medium ap­peals to the col­lec­tor’s fun­da­men­tal psy­che. “Col­lect­ing is like hunt­ing. You are happy to have peo­ple bring you the meal on a plate, but you still like to hunt your own.”

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