Art for Instagram

Art for Instagram

By Annie Francl



Over the past few years art museums have increasingly featured shows with large-scale spectacular works that translate well into eye-catching Instagram photos. These immersive exhibitions have drawn huge crowds in large part thanks to their social media potential. The vibrant colors and scale of works in shows like LACMA’s Rain Room and Smithsonian Renwick Gallery’s Wonder lends its self well to smart-phone photography.


Walking around an immersive exhibit like this, it’s more common to see fellow visitors posing for photos, snapping selfies and staring at their phones in search of the perfect filter, than simply contemplating in the pieces. It has become natural for us to document our lives on photo based social media platforms like Instagram, however, this desire to capture the perfect pictures of ourselves and curate our Instagram feed has impacted the way we think about artwork. Nowadays, art for the sake of art is much less desirable if you can’t document it with an aesthetically pleasing photo to showoff your followers. Art is becoming more of a supporting background in our self-portraits than something of stand-alone value.


While these social media friendly art shows have their critics in the art world, the wider public has embraced the idea. In addition to the increase in immersive exhibits in classic art museums, artists have begun to create shows that not only translate well to social media, but are made for it. A new wave of pop-up museums has emerged and, to no one's surprise, has also been hugely popular with the young social media savvy crowd who are in constant pursuit of the best backdrops for their Instagram pictures.


The Ice Cream Museum in Los Angeles, where visitors can pose with giant popsicles and swim in a pool of sprinkles, is an Instagrammer's dream. The Ice Cream Museum’s lighthearted display of everyone’s favorite treat is bound to take visitors' Instagram feed to the next level. Another recent pop-up museum reminiscent of the Ice Cream Museum is San Francisco’s Color Factory, which was literally made for Instagram. The Color Factory is a building full of beautiful backdrops designed to help visitors experience color in an awe-inspiring way while capturing beautiful photos. Color Factory guests can even register for a card to be scanned at six photo booths throughout the museum so they can get the perfect Instagram photos, no filter necessary.


Whether or not this new wave of social media friendly artwork is a good thing, we can expect to see a lot more art for Instagram’s sake over the next few years given the massive popularity of recent shows. We can also expect to see our Instagram feeds to be flooded with pictures of our friends ‘experiencing’ these exhibitions.