Lael Fredsell, Chiquita Farley
Ruth Dusseault
ART 3910
Monday, March 20th, 2017

Social Media and the Art World

Social media, with its power to connect us through the internet, is changing the art world for artists and their audiences. It has become a valuable tool for some artists, providing the infrastructure for a number of services. These services include directly reaching a broader audience, allowing you to speak to your audience, selling works, and raising money for projects. There are also drawbacks for artists who use social media as their marketing device, such as losing credit for work, or having to censor their art. For the audience, social media allows us to browse and discover art and artists from our devices, and connect with artists and other enthusiasts.

The biggest affect social media has on the art world comes the ability to connect artists directly to their intended audiences. Gone are the days of having to visit galleries to view art - now we can view, share, and engage with the art directly from our devices with the help of platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter, among others.

external image GKlQq-c5hNjhi7LXYTnl8B_iniiPrcc7EU5jxFQeQovOshz982rVx2wXgrhgYcr2T9pmtCTKAjXSku_Jek5rvsac8ueN-pvpCMpOz-MRenP9HcxXgxizXRVNBZi84VtDCd4IrqDK
Fiber artist Danielle Clough shows off recent work to her 93k followers on Instagram.

A downside of viewing artwork through a screen is that in most cases, it is not how the artist originally intended the work to be viewed. Imagine an artist just created a large-scale installation piece - we would gain so much more from the piece by getting to experience it in person. There is some artwork that when you see it, you know that no picture can do it justice.

By reaching the audience directly, artists are able to cut galleries out of the equation. Often that means artists must market themselves, which can be a good or bad thing based on their experience. It also means that if they are capable of selling their own work, no more gallery commissions. Some artists owe their success to social media, rather than galleries. Sculptor __Dan Lam__’s career skyrocketed after being followed by the right people on his Instagram account. Pop star Miley Cyrus purchased a piece of Lam’s and posted it on her page, where 50 million people saw it. In an __interview__ with Artwork Archive, Dan Lam shares a few thoughts on the role social media plays in the art world: “I think it’s super important. If you are an artist and you aren’t using it, you aren’t necessarily harming yourself, but you aren’t helping yourself either. The real thing about Instagram is about connecting with other artists. You get on Instagram, on social media, and you find another artist you admire — you start talking, collaborating, and trading. It’s like networking but in your circle.”

external image CVz1uOqEhGpIUQJ57Y_w2Rt1NPA3JPMIkgn6DQuig-WfGhHq03KAxXZ5_TIgd8djtyN89DcKgqC420u_lVbN1I0-ZMMP5uvMv7HPIgb7dWd3Sn7fhxUHDCF3bGB-N1D0r6XvGQVC

Dan Lam’s Drip Sculpture, Reposted by Miley Cyrus

Social Media has been playing a big role in the way art is bought and sold, and how projects are being funded. With platforms such as __Patreon__, artists are able to set up an account where their audience pays a monthly recurring fee, and in return the artist provides rewards - usually in the form of digital content. This formula provides the audience with a valuable connection to the artist, and the artist is able to continue financing their artwork. Animation artist __Mike Inel__ funds his work through Patreon, making about $5000 a month, while other Patreon creators make up to $30k a month. The world-renowned auction house Christie’s leverages their __instagram__ account to sell artwork and promote auctions.

Social Media also has its drawbacks for the art world. With the ability to easily share posts, forgetting to give credit hurts the artists. Many instagram pages share a similarity with click-bait articles: they exist to generate “likes” and gain traction increasing the marketing value of the page and do not always help the artists they feature.

With many artists pushing boundaries and producing bold, thought provoking art, sometimes social media’s community guidelines get in the way and censor the art. Jerry Saltz, art critic for the __New York__ magazine, was banned from his Instagram and Facebook pages after other users reported his posts to the “Facebook Police” (article __here__). __Facebook’s Community Standards__ do not allow posting of nudity, which makes it difficult to censor certain works of art. One of the more __ridiculous examples__ of art censorship on social media was when Copenhagen’s famous Little Mermaid statue broke Facebook’s rules. A post of the century-old statue of a nude female figure was removed after Facebook deemed it inappropriate.
external image U6JaTcFlN9WGuMoi1CfUC3qYxFAHY3uC0J3DYUrWs08pb0TGmO_trVyacGY_67Fnn-rURr-LwbUWJq0QJfLyoWAyyMHIOAwTAwtps_MCroPwziB6ANFHvZ5pDSZ0IdHea568EF77

Copenhagen Mermaid that broke Facebook’s Community Standards

At this point social media still is not able to replace experiencing art in the flesh, but it has contributed greatly to the way the art community interacts with one another. Rather than becoming the new infrastructure for experiencing art, it is a valuable tool for artists and audiences alike.

With recent study between the artist and social media Hiscox, an online Art Trade Report, revealed only a few people are influenced by sites like Instagram.
Hiscox found that social media provides unlikely benefits for artists.
Hiscox reached out to an artist named Maxwell Rushton as part of a wider investigation of live streaming reactions on his "Left Out" sculpture, in which he accepted to do.

This exposed his work to a new a new crowd, and opened different views to the art world. Social media features live streaming which helps artist and their art be viewed in a different ways. Groups are created on
Facebook and LinkedIn To post, share, engage, and discuss ideas. These groups are designed for one to learn. The good thing about social media is the inspiration it gives others, teaches new techniques, informative about artist as well as artwork, and a way to get recognized. Just like there are pros with using social media there are cons too, such as artwork being uploaded by people who aren't the ones that created it; Reducing their creative juices which causes an artist to focus on other peoples work instead of working on their own; Time wasted is another con with using social media such as checking updates engaging with others is a big distraction from focusing on their own work.

The last thing to know when using social media as a platform people should limit the time spent on it, always share their best work there is no telling who is watching, use social media as a stepping stone to what one is trying to pursue, and use social media as a learning tool as well as building partnerships with people in the same profession. Interesting art platforms such as Artsy, Artnet, Artspace and Paddle8 are high in demand of art needs. These platforms are for those who like to browse, read the latest about art around the world, and learn about the business. Social media is like the news in the art world, it keeps those aware of whats happening. Artsy podcast was designed for those who don't care to read to listen in on art talk. While social media is growing everyday people are getting recognition based on repost, being tagged, and engaging with their followers. In order to be successful one should have work they are proud of to be noticed.

"In museums people stroll, on Instagram they scroll". -Rosie Dawkins