What Your 2016 Art Instagram Posts Say About You

Are you an exhibitionist or someone who gets a bit freaky—or both?

Ugo Rondinone, Magic Mountain (2016). Photo courtesy of the Art Production Fund.

Everyone knows that your “carefully-curated” Instagram feed is an idealized version of your life, designed to stir up as much FOMO as possible. That doesn’t mean we can’t read into your psyche a bit based on what artworks you share on your feed—Insta-worthy snaps say a lot more than meets the eye.

Are you an avid #artselfie taker? Or do you prefer to let the works speak for themselves, letting go of your ego, and staying clear of reflective surfaces? Some artworks require hours of waiting in line, or even traveling, to get the perfect shot, showing a serious dedication to your online persona. Is it bright colors and flashing lights that attract you, or do you take more risks in the quest for your “likes,” showing off your thoughtful nature with subtlety?

From funny and light, to serious and dark, and from vanilla to a little bit freaky, artnet News has analyzed 10 pieces that were popular on the social media network in 2016, and determined what each work says about the art lovers who shared them.

1. Maurizio Cattelan, America at the Guggenheim Museum, New York
If you posed on Maurizio Cattelan‘s 18-karat gold toilet at the Guggenheim, it seems fair to say that you’re a bit of an exhibitionist. Your social media image is so important that no line is too long, as long as it means getting that perfect art selfie.


2. Christo and Jeanne-Claude The Floating Piers on Lake Iseo, Italy
If you made it to Lake Iseo in Italy to see the brief two-week run of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s The Floating Piers, you clearly have a fabulous jet-setting lifestyle. Given that the work was quickly overwhelmed by the volume of art lovers in attendance, we’re also guessing you’re cool with crowds—a real life of the party type.

3. “Martin Creed: The Back Door” at the Park Avenue Armory, New York
Yes, the room full of balloons seem playful, but Martin Creed’s summer show also included scatological videos of people pooping and throwing up. We bet you can get a bit freaky.

4. Dan Flavin, Untitled (to you, Heiner, with admiration and affection), at Dia Beacon, Beacon, New York
If you’re hanging out in the basement of Dia Beacon, you most likely have a bit of a dark side. Otherwise, why would you be drawn to the subterranean gloom of Dan Flavin’s fluorescent green work?

5. “Alberto Giacometti Retrospective” at the Yuz Musuem, Shanghai
Oh, you tortured soul. The Yuz Museum’s Alberto Giacometti retrospective was the largest ever, so if you made it to Shanghai to see the work of the existential sculptor, it shows you have a serious love for all things melancholically beautiful.

6. Yayoi KusamaNarcissus Garden at the Glass House, New Canaan, Connecticut
High-class architecture and design is likely among your great loves if you made it up to the Glass House for Yayoi Kusama‘s 2016 exhibition. You have a refined sensitivity to the beauty of art and nature, and this was the exhibition that most tastefully encapsulated a meeting of the elements for the sake of art. Congratulations, you’re a true aesthete.


7. Tony MatelliSleepwalker on the High Line, New York
Did you pose with Tony Matelli’s creepy Sleepwalker? We reckon you have a slightly off-beat sense of humor, and don’t mind making people uncomfortable. After all, the sculpture was a source of controversy when installed at Massachusetts women’s college Wellesley, and was even vandalized.


8. Cornelia ParkerTransitional Object (PsychoBarn) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
You have classic tastes, from Alfred Hitchcock films to the Met to Edward Hopper paintings, so it’s no wonder that you enjoy Cornelia Parker’s rooftop contemporary art installation, steeped in references to 20th-century pop culture and art history.

9. “Pipilotti Rist: Pixel Forest” at the New Museum, New York
If you’re a fan of Pipilotti Rist’s stunning immersive video environments, it seems like a safe bet that when it comes to new technology, you’re always an early adopter.

10. Ugo Rondinone, Seven Magic Mountains in Las Vegas
The only thing that trumps your love of art is your love of nature. By sharing a picture of Ugo Rondinone‘s fluorescent, color-blocked boulders in the Nevada desert, which balance without the help of armature or glue, you also proved your simultaneous dedication to minimalism and maximalism.

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