Centerfold is partnering with Chromatic for our 14th exhibition, which will feature the work of 10 visual artists who have gained popularity and praise on Instagram.
Check out the FB event here.
Instagram is an online pictorial medium that functions insofar as it’s users share and interact with user-generated images. In this way, technology has democratized image-making; putting power in everyone’s hands to stylize an image and project oneself to a given audience. It may be argued that the application serves as a modern-day, self-curated gallery. With over 400 million people opening the application every day, Instagram is an important force on our contemporary visual culture that begs to be investigated.
Rather than being swept away by an endless stream of artistic content, we sought to pause, and pull a handful of images out of its consumable, digital format. Centerfold 14 manifests instagram content as fine art displayed in a traditional setting, and the ten featured artists not only exude beauty in their works, but also act as a representation of the more popular work within our millenial culture.
This exhibit touches on many themes and raises several questions. Firstly, it happens that the most popular content on instagram aligns decisively with primary genres of Western contemporary art: food-porn as still-life; urban vistas as landscape; glamourized selfies or model-shots as aristocratic portrait. This exhibition sought out works that allow the viewer to reflect upon these parallels. Next, the Centerfold voting mechanism is a deeper, more complex, version of instagram’s ‘like’ functionality. Questions arise when those comfortable with an unlimited ability to show appreciation of little consequence are confronted with a tangible effect on Artists’ earnings. Lastly, we must ask ourselves if the exhibited artworks purvey beauty-as-art, reinforce traditional capitalist structures by evoking feelings of economic and social envy in the viewer, or both. Instagram is a tool whose monetization necessitates consumer ads, sensationalism, and consumerist culture- does fine art do the same?