The Artist Is Virtually Present: 5 Visual Artists To Follow On Instagram

@petrafcollins (Instagram)

Instagram can sometimes feel like a treasure hunt: the search for that beautiful landscape photo or well curated #interiorinspiration post can be made difficult amongst a wasteland of selfies and pixelated pictures of lattes.

For many of us, Instagram is the great escape, a window into other worlds as we make the boring daily commute or pause for a coffee break in a beige-on-beige office. But sometimes photos of a co-worker’s border collie or a second cousin’s wedding just aren’t the aesthetic reprieve we crave.

So, if you’re feeling the need to add a little beauty to your daily grind, consider peppering your feed with some fine art. The following artists are not only skilled in their respective disciplines, but they’ve also figured out a way to make the social media platform work for them. A decade ago, public exposure to fine art was primarily limited to galleries and textbooks; Instagram, however, has changed the game, making fine art accessible with the click of a “Follow” button.

JEN STARK

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With her psychedelic patterns in 2D, 3D, and animation, LA-based Jen Stark has created an eye-catching profile that showcases work which mimics “intricate patterns and colors found in nature while exploring ideas of replication and infinity”. She also regularly offers glimpses of her studio life and her coastal and desert adventures around California. Despite the bold colors of her artwork, there’s something soothing about it, almost harkening back to the coloring books we loved as children.

Operating under the pseudonym 13th Witness, photographer Timothy McGurr is known for his stark compositions of primarily urban subjects; crisply colored shots of subway stations around the world and jarring angles of buildings are the crux of his brand. He is also known for his impressive client list; McGurr has created photos and videos for artists like Drake, Kanye West, John Mayer, and brands like Nike and Converse.

FLORIA SIGISMONDI

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Italian born and Canadian raised, Sigismondi’s work is all over the map: music, film, photography, watercolors, sketches, and installation art are all in her wheelhouse. She is another artist known to partner with celebrities, having created music videos with a range of different artists like David Bowie, Justin Timberlake, Rhianna, and Sigor Ross. Her first feature-length film, The Runaways, starred Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning, and premiered at Sundance in 2010. Sigismondi’s Instagram account is an often jarring, occasionally disturbing glimpse into the mind and work of this dynamic artist.

TOMAKAZU MATSUYAMA

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Tomakazu Matsuyama is a Japanese American painter whose work has been described as “influenced by both the austerity of post-war contemporary art and the rough extravagancy of popular culture.” His work possesses a quiet whimsy, an alluring combination of classic technique with a contemporary spin. Matsuyama is currently based in New York.

PETRA COLLINS

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Petra Collins is originally from Toronto and now resides in New York, where she works as an artist and art curator. Her photography has appeared in Vogue and Elle, and in her personal work she is known for her dissection of the teenage experience, exploring the frustrations of shifting identities and sexual awakenings. “My goal is just to create images that generate a conversation about things that aren’t spoken about,” she stated in a 2014 interview for Vogue. “I want to change the ways young girls look at themselves and the way women at large are looked at. Art has always been a way for me to work out—not even issues—but how to live.”