Want to Up Your Social Media Game? Here Are Some Tips From 5 Art-World Influencers to Perfect Your Online Presence

These phenoms are curating more than just museum exhibitions—and their social media stars are on the rise.

Visitors in the
Visitors in the "Made-for-Instagram" exhibition. Photo: Rolf Vennenbernd/dpa via Getty Images.

There seems to be an Instagram account for everything these days, from paintings of animals in bizarre positions to a single picture of an egg that got the most likes in Instagram history.

So of course there are also Instagram “art accounts” featuring people who travel around to galleries and museums and take pictures of the work they come across for their tens of thousands of followers. We surveyed a few people behind some of the more popular art accounts and asked them what it takes to build a successful social media presence.

 

Pari Ehsan 

Find Her: @paridust

Claim to Fame: Art and fashion blogger

Follower Count: 194k

How to Stand Out: Come from a place of adding value. For me, it is to incite the act of discovery or creation in others. To be a resource for something I think is of great value, carve a niche, and create and share content as an extension of what compels you.

How to Attract and Retain Followers: Instagram karma. Be generous and genuine in your engagement with others on the platform and it will come back to you.

 

Cecilia Alemani

Find Her: @ceciliaalemani

Claim to Fame: Director and chief curator of High Line Art

Follower Count: 24.1k

Who She Follows and Why: I like accounts by artists. I like when I can see a voice or personal style. Of course from someone like Cindy Sherman, whose account is an artwork on its own, but also Tauba Auerbach, David Horvitz, Mickalene Thomas, Amalia Ulman, Viviane Sassen, Xaviera Simmons, Kevin Beasley, Guillermo Kuitca, Sable Elyse Smith. And colleagues like Neville Wakefield, Eva Respini, Gianni Jetzer, Matthew Higgs, Eugenie Tsai. I admire people that can actually write meaningful descriptions that accompany their posts.

What Makes for a Great Post: A captivating photo, a weird crop, an image that is not immediately recognizable, and an amusing hashtag.

 

Eva Respini 

Find Her: @curator_on_the_run

Claim to Fame: Chief curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston

Follower Count: 38k

How She Stands Out: My job as a curator means I see a lot of art, in person and in the flesh. I feel very privileged to be able to travel to discover art and be with artists. My Instagram is a visual diary of my research. I post what I see, what captures my interest the most, and [offer] some insights into my job working with art and artists.

What Makes for a Great Post: Instagram is a visual medium, so the post needs to be dynamic on an aesthetic level. I am attracted to things that I have never seen before, and art and artists that I am thinking about.

 

Antwaun Sargent 

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#NOLA ✨✨✨

A post shared by SIR SARGENT (@sirsargent) on

Find Him: @sirsargent

Claim to Fame: Author of The New Black Vanguard: Photography Between Art and Fashion (Aperture, Autumn 2019)

Follower Count: 56.4k

How He Stands Out: For me, it’s always been about showing my perspective as authentically as I can. It’s not really about being a brand. It’s about sharing the images that I find fascinating or aspects of my life that are interesting. It’s less about trying to stay relevant, and more about communicating with images.

How to Attract and Retain Followers: It’s a happenstance of people responding to “content.” People follow, they unfollow—I don’t really care—but it’s organic. People for some reason or another are attracted to my point of view, and the clothes I’m wearing moreso than anything else probably. It’s not an effort. I’m not thinking of a follower count.

 

Yuri Yureeka Yasuda

Find Her: @yureeka and @tokyoartoffice

Claim to Fame: Journalist and tea sommelier

Follower Count: 25.7k (between both accounts)

How to Stand Out: [I don’t do anything] too special, to be honest. I travel constantly for work and leisure, so I often find myself in Tokyo, Hong Kong, London, and Paris, sometimes in a single week. I get to visit many galleries across the globe that way. Since I have many friends who are collectors, I’m thinking about featuring more of their collections and home interiors instead of gallery shows. They make for more “exclusive” personable photos.

How to Attract and Retain Followers: I need to work on this. For my @yureeka account, where I post about my other career in food and beverage, my travels, food pics, fashion, and everything other than art, I’ve had it for years and media appearances have helped boost my followers. I was on Net-A-Porter’s Incredible Women series panelist speaker in Hong Kong last year, which led to my video interview on Porter Magazine. For @tokyoartoffice, my “art only” account, which I set up a few months ago, I feel a bit late to the party. But because I am the main writer for Forbes Japan in the Contemporary Arts section, I feel I can post unique content coming from Japan.

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