Instagram Video Series Satirizes the Art Scene

Image via Hyperallergic

Instagram Video has been around for a year, but the first web series to run on the platform just debuted about a week ago. Hyperallergic profiles Artistically Challenged, a super-short series that lampoons the craziness of the art world.

Featuring caricatures of artists, collectors, and gallerists, the show follows Nick, a young wannabe artist who can’t seem to catch a break. One day, he purchases a painting from a “streetside genius,” and claims it as his own. Suddenly, he is swept up into a lavish world of heady praise, flowing champagne, and extreme wealth. The last episode to air ends with him receiving a commission from a collector that we watch him create using an iPhone, a jewel, and what appears to be Play-Doh (a Koons reference, perhaps?). But will his magnum opus be a critical flop?

The show was crated by graduates of New York University’s Tisch School for the Arts Sam Delmara, Aleks Arcabascio, and Jeremy Boros, using a Canon 5D camera, along with 25 crew members and 30 actors. It feels fitting that the first creators to truly harness the accessibility and power of Instagram Video would create a series about the art world.

“We felt like people would be excited about watching content on a platform they already use regularly rather than asking them to look for it elsewhere,” Delmara told Hyperallergic. “We also knew that it would be a really fun experiment since Instagram wasn’t necessarily ‘built’ for telling a story in this way. We would need to tailor the whole process to their format, which was a lot of fun.”

A familiarity with the nuances of the art world is helpful but not necessary to enjoying the series. Sure, someone uninitiated might not pick up on the Banksy reference (amusingly portrayed as an unmasked, sad, and sweaty middle-aged man), but the show is funny and brief enough to land with most anyone. “We only broke the surface [of the art world] while writing this first season,” said Delmara.

With 24 episodes remaining in the season and a new one debuting each day of July, we recommend you tune in and see if you recognize a part of yourself in this crazy world.

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