While Instagram isn’t the ideal place to find art, it can keep you informed or give you some insight into an artist’s practice. Especially in an artscape as vast as Texas, I use Instagram as a way to expose myself to art when I can’t be present in the big art centers; also, Instagram can introduce me to the work of artists who work outside of major Texas cities. Here are a few of my favorite folks to follow right now:
1. Christie Blizard, for all the reasons Christina Rees goes into here. Her Instagram works for her art, in that her work is performative, often via social media, and her characters and methods are continually in flux.
2. Jose Villalobos is an artist who also does performance work. His Instagram is full of teasers for his next projects, documentation of performances, and his work other media like drawing and soap sculptures. The added slices of where his life and art merge, like his boot/foot tattoos, are an Instagram bonus.
3. Roberto Jackson Harrington, Austin-based artist [see top image], and director/curator of the Museum of Pocket Art. Here’s a guy who likes to mess with the arbitrary images and captions that crop up on a newsfeed, picking up on internet lingo like “moar” and “DM your credit card number for this HOT new shiz.”
4. Irvin Medrano, a graphic designer in Lubbock, is my favorite Texas photographer. His technicolor self-portraits, flowers, and sunsets revel in cliché but are juicy as hell, perfect for an online format. Medrano’s works often contain a nightclub neon glow of intense pinks, purples, and blues, queering the image. He’s one to watch, I.M.O.
5. Patricia Carrington’s account set up for her project Aire para llevar was featured at K Space Contemporary’s (Corpus Christi) exchange with Presa House Gallery (San Antonio). The last post was in January, but I like this digital archive and body of work.
6. CO-OPT, a new art space and collective in Lubbock, features Cody Arnall, Aaron Hegert, Eric Simpson, and Heather Warren Crow. Warren Crow is one of the most intriguing and undersung artists in Lubbock. (The group as a whole is exciting, and the space has already been very active in its first summer months of operation.)
7. The Webb Gallery, in Waxahachie, hosts mostly outsider or informally trained artists, and has a great Instagram full of “historic” posts, and features on its current and past artists. The works the Webbs curate and exhibit feel authentically wild, and a break from the usual Westernized/Euro/Crapstraction aesthetics that fill the Feed.
8. Victoria Marie Bee is probably the most active person I follow on Instagram. Her feed is full of her scanography, photography, Lubbock art events and artists, her dog, memes, and literary quotes. Her posts of poems and short stories are often twisted and introspective.
9. Gabo Martini’s Instagram rides the line between an appealing design shop and a curated timeline of her artistic evolution. Don’t risk following her if you aren’t looking to buy some of her wonderful pots (or recent whacky clay slab creatures).
10. Johan Barrios, a figurative painter based in Houston, shares process shots of his large-scale, awkwardly-postured figurative oil paintings. It’s nice to see his models, resources, and the way he layers and deals with complex color palettes in his work.
11. Singer/songwriter/artist Bob Schneider’s collages have received some attention, but recently his self-assigned copycat paintings (and his reflections on the process of trying to achieve what another artists does) have turned into an interesting series in their own right. I’m a sucker for hard work.
12. Ryder Richard’s Instagram keeps up with his various residencies and exhibitions (he’s a busy dude), as well as his short-form art review website, Eutopia. Richards frequents a lot of museums, so his Insta is a nice way to keep up with a few institutional shows.
No matter the evils and compression (literally and metaphorically) of social media upon art, I use this tool a lot, and it ain’t all bad. In that spirit, comment below with your favorite Texan artists and spaces to follow! #goseesomeart