13 Artists That Are Having More Fun Than You This Summer

These artists are inducing envy in the hearts of all office drones.

Photo: Andrea Ferrari.

Are you fed up with overhearing coworkers regale their desk mates with tales of their summer vacations? Have you been deleting friends who excessively post about their summer Fridays?

If the answer to either is yes, then all you need is a few social media sources to tip you over the edge with envy.

We’ve put together a list of artists whose Instagram accounts promise that they are having a more exciting summer than you.

1. Jeff Koons

Jeff Koons‘ retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art last summer caused quite a stir and made it to the top six most Instagrammed shows ever.

In an effort to promote his current retrospective at the Guggenheim Bilbao, the American superstar hammed it up in the first video he’s ever posted to Instagram. Koons has been suited up and slicked back for the clip, which shows him stepping out of a sleek black car and walking past his gigantic flower puppy, a 43-foot West Highland White Terrier that guards the entrance of the museum.

2. Mickalene Thomas 

This candid shot captures Mickalene Thomas surprising her girlfriend, Racquel Chevremont, with a birthday bash at MoMA PS1 earlier this summer.

In a 2013 interview with artnet News, Thomas described her photography as “a way for [me] to find a different meaning within reality.” Thomas’ account will take you for ride through photos of her art as well as her private life—”Follow” for jealousy-induced scrolling.

3. Alex Israel

Only in his early 30s but with an impressive heap of solo shows already under his belt, Alex Israel appears to be having, at least according to his generous Instagram feed, quite the summer.

Unlike most of our favorite Insta-aficionados, Israel, one of the best-selling artists of the Twitter generation, often posts images of work by his contemporaries as well as by the masters. In between shooting on the West Coast and attending a Frank Sinatra tribute concert, he has Instagrammed pieces by Alex Da Corte, Giorgio de Chirico and Pablo Picasso.

Israel recently put up this video of himself on a self-balancing scooter. In reply to a comment that asked where he bought his new toy, the artist simply wrote: “Amazon.com”.

4. Ai Weiwei 

Ai Weiwei received over 11,000 likes on an Instagram photo he posted of himself showing off his passport, which the Chinese government recently returned after its four-year absence.

Since then, Weiwei’s feed has been jam-packed with snapshots of him with his family and with assistants in and around Berlin. A few weeks ago he uploaded this shot of him and his son, Lao Ai, relaxing in the water.

His constant activity on social media not only has us excited for his upcoming show at the Royal Academy, but also has us writhing with envy at all those lucky souls at the beach.


5. Petra Collins

Canadian photographer Petra Collins offers her 163,000 Instagram followers an intimate diary of her life.

Mostly selfies and photos of her handsome and near-naked friends, Collins’ feed will have you wondering whether you should post pictures of yourself eating an apple in a cab or lazing in the bathtub.

In 2013, Collins published an intimate photo of her sister and her boyfriend that later became part of the ongoing debate over who has the rights to Richard Prince’s Instagram appropriation works.


6. Richard Phillips

It looks like the altitude might have gotten to Richard Phillips, who is awkwardly posing in front of a picturesque Aspen backdrop above.

The artist, one of the many founders of art concierge service Cultivist, mostly posts closeups of his paintings, but every so often will give you a sneak peek into one of his far-flung excursions.

7. Anish Kapoor

Instagram newbie Anish Kapoor has chosen @dirty_corner for his handle on the social media site, in reference to his sculpture in Versailles. So far, his account has been a series of none other than, trash-filled and dust-splattered street corners.

Kapoor, who doesn’t follow any other Instagram accounts, has been breaking headlines this summer as the Chicago mayor was unsupportive in disputing the newly-built Chinese monument that bears an uncanny resemblance to Kapoor’s ‘Bean’.


8. Meriem Bennani

Moroccan-born artist Meriem Bennani is not afraid to be absurd. We have no idea how the artist created the Instagram masterpiece above, but watch it once and you’ll want to see her entire feed.

Bennani ups the ante by animating her videos with singing fruit and splattered egg yolks. In a recent post, the artist disappears into a cloud of smoke and then is reborn into a frog.

9. Jean Pigozzi

Earlier this year, Jean Pigozzi published a series of photos on his Instagram account of various celebrities, ranging from Hillary Clinton to Kendall Jenner to all captioned, “WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU ATE KALE?”

Most of the comments below his posts are written by fans desperately questioning where the kale is in the photo. In the shot above, the artist announces that he is refusing to drink his iced green tea because he suspects it is laced with the verboten leafy green.

In a Wall Street Journal interview last year, the photographer, who has had two solo shows at Gagosian, admitted that he takes 12 pills for various ailments each day and that he will never get married.

10. Ryan McGinley

Among the many posts of Ryan McGinley with his artist friends and videos of his mother singing, the New York-based photographer published a shot of his head peeking out of a bunk-bed on Jamie XX’s tour bus.

He’s a great fan of throwbacks and will keep you entertained with regular images of his dog, which always bear the hashtag #dickthedog.

If for some reason you find yourself away from your desk and in the Netherlands this month, head to Amersfoort and catch McGinley’s portraits on view at the Kunsthal KAdE.

11. Damien Hirst

In a curious attempt to repent for his art world sins, Damien Hirst announced earlier this summer that he will open a space in South London to host exhibitions of work from his private art collection.

“This is what #MyFreedom looks like,” the artist wrote underneath an image of a tube of yellow acrylic being squeezed onto one of his paint-splattered, round spin paintings.

Follow if you want to be updated on where Hirst’s formaldehyde shark has made its latest home and for Throwback Thursdays documenting the YBA throughout his extensive career.

12. Vik Muniz

If you are prepared to weep with jealousy in your air-conditioned cubicle, follow Brazilian-born photographer Vik Muniz.

After scrolling though numerous images of beaches and sunsets, you might be left wondering when he actually has the time to work. Muniz seems to be in a different continent each week.

Just in the past few months, the artist has posted photos from Venice, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Sicily, and Panarea. The list goes on.

13. Alex Prager


For her professional photographs, Alex Prager meticulously stages Technicolor crowds of dolled up women looking askance. Her Instagram account is a jumbled mix of her own homages to Hollywood, as well as images of friends draped on beat-up cars, or luxuriating in pools.

The Californian artist has been making us jealous with countless photos of her travels—she’s been to Istanbul, Lake Como and Paris this summer—but she also likes to keep her followers up to date with new work she’s producing as well as her upcoming shows.

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