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Curator's choice: 12 art world luminaries to follow on Instagram
Updated 8th September 2017
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Curator's choice: 12 art world luminaries to follow on Instagram
Marc Spiegler is the global director of Art Basel, leading its wide-ranging activities across the art world. In June 2016, he joined CNN Style as guest editor, commissioning features on the topic of art and technology.
From 3D paintings to virtual reality, technology has changed the art world forever. But while our eyes were focused on some of the flashier creations technology has facilitated, the real change may be coming from an unexpected corner.
Instagram has quietly expanded its reach and influence to the art world, quickly becoming the preferred social media outlet for artists, art curators and industry insiders alike. Here, Marc Spiegler, Global Director of Art Basel, picks his top12 art curators you should follow on Instagram.

Nancy Spector (@nespector) - Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Brooklyn Museum

How would you describe your Instagram feed in three words?
Personal, political, self-consciously public.
What is your favorite Instagram account?
Jennifer Higgie (@jenniferhiggie) exclusively features women artists, some little-known, with wonderful explanations about their creative contributions. She posts archival photographs of these women and their work.
What does Instagram mean to the art world?
It is a mode of instant communication to a wide audience eager for access and information. I particularly enjoy sharing images of art works I find to be compelling and memorable. I include my children and a glimpse of my private life as a feminist gesture.
Nancy Spector has been the Deputy Director and Chief Curator of Brooklyn Museum since April 2016. Previously, she was the Deputy Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan.

Eva Respini (@curator_on_the_run) - Chief Curator of The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

How would you describe your Instagram feed in three words?
Art, travel, beaches.
What are your favorite Instagram accounts?
Some artists are fantastic on Instagram, using it as a platform beyond self promotion, like Geoffrey Farmer (@anhourbeforesleep.) He finds all kinds of amazing videos online and posts them.
I appreciate accounts that don't take themselves too seriously, like the dealer Andrea Rosen (@andrearosengal), especially her #overseventystyle hashtag. And I like to follow Karl Lagerfeld's cat, Choupette at @choupettesdiary.
Which dead artist do you wish was on Instagram today?
Claude Cahun. She was doing selfies and playing with identity and gender roles 80-90 years ago!
Eva Respini is the Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the ICA/Boston. Prior to that she was Curator at The Museum of Modern Art. She has organized exhibitions with artists such as Walid Raad, Cindy Sherman, Vik Muniz, Ai Wei Wei, among others. She has been a visiting critic for the MFA program for Visual Arts at Columbia University, Yale University's School of Art, and the School of Visual Arts, New York.

Alexie Glass-Kantor (@alexieglass) - Director of Artspace Sydney

What does Instagram mean to the art world?
On my feed I have a quote from Susan Sontag: "Today everything exists to end in a photograph."
When I first logged on to Instagram it reminded me why I love images.
Images matter. They connect people, stories and places. Instagram in the art world is an invitation to think outside your own square. It can be a really effective research tool for gathering a breadth of information about projects from all over the world and it offers insight into the ideas of our times.
Hashtags are a terrific way of siphoning information on an artists activities and are helpful when thinking about movements in art and society more broadly.
Which dead artist do you wish was on Instagram today?
Leigh Bowery.
Alexie Glass-Kantor is the Executive Director of Artspace in Sydney, a kunsthalle space that supports the commissioning of contemporary art, collaboration, publishing, and residencies. She also curates the installation sector for Art Basel | Hong Kong called Encounters.

Vincent Honoré (@vincenthonore) - Chief Curator of David Roberts Art Foundation in London

How would you describe your Instagram feed in three words?
Subjective, impermanent, nomad.
What is your favorite Instagram account:
I particularly like Matthew Dickman's (@dickmanmatthew) profile. Matthew is an award winning American poet. Somehow, his literary skills are conveyed in his Instagram stream: a shade, an object, a detail becomes meaningful and reveals a sensibility, a simplicity, an authenticity akin to his writing.
Which dead artist do you wish was on Instagram today?
I would immediately think of Andy Warhol. How fascinating would it be to follow him? Although, that may be way too obvious.
The Belgian conceptual artist Marcel Broodthaers, whose work was informed by poetry, cinema and institutional critique could have done something daring and humorous.
Vincent Honoré is the Chief Curator of the David Roberts Art Foundation (DRAF) in London. Previously he was a part of the curatorial team in charge of opening the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and assistant curator at Tate Modern in London.

Polly Staple (@polly.staple) - Director of Chisenhale Gallery in London

How would you describe your Instagram feed in three words?
Nothing Personal.
What is your favorite Instagram account:
Artist Yuri Pattison (@yuripattison). He has a great eye.
What does Instagram mean to the art world?
What does the art world mean to Instagram?
Which deceased artist do you wish was on Instagram today?
Caravaggio.
Polly Staple has been Director of Chisenhale Gallery, London since 2008. She was formerly Director of Frieze Projects and Curator at Cubitt Gallery, London. Since 2000 Staple has commissioned solo projects and exhibitions by artists such as Pawel Althamer, Jeremy Deller, Hito Steyerl, Seth Price, Lynette Yiadom Boakye, Ed Atkins, Helen Marten, Camille Henrot, Jumana Manna, Park McArthur and Maria Eichhorn.

Chris Sharp (@chrissharpdf) - Curator of Lulu in Mexico City

How would you describe your Instagram feed in three words?
Art, art and art.
What is your favorite Instagram account:
Probably Frieze (@frieze_magazine) and Artforum (@artforum). They are very smart in that they have several users uploading at all times, which means that there is a steady flow of content from all over world.
What does Instagram mean to the art world?:
Heightened visibility, which is, in the current economy of visibility, contemporary art's most significant critical currency (often mistakenly assuming that the more you are seen, the more important you must be.)
That said, what interests me about using such an admittedly diluted form of critical currency is the possibility of creating something much more pointed within it: if not criticality, then a near equivalent generated by the endorsement that comes from selection, context and continuity (which are some of contemporary art's most trusted critical tools.)
Chris Sharp is a writer and independent curator based in Mexico City, where he co-founded, with the artist Martin Soto Climent, the independent space, Lulu. He is currently preparing exhibitions at the Galerie nächst St Stephan, Vienna; The National Gallery, Prague; galeria kurimanzutto, Mexico City; Pivo, São Paulo; and Le Nouveau Musée National de Monaco, among others.

Mia Locks (@mia.locks) - Co-curator for the 2017 Whitney Biennial in New York

What is your favorite Instagram account?
Thelma Golden (@thelmagolden) because she is a hero of mine!
What does Instagram mean to the art world?:
That people think they are "seeing" a show without physically going to look at the works in person, which I find troubling.
Which deceased artist do you wish was on Instagram today?:
Lee Lozano.
Mia Locks is one of the co-curators of the 2017 Whitney Biennial. From 2013 until recently, she was Assistant Curator at MoMA PS1, and has previously organized 'Cruising the Archive: Queer Art and Culture in Los Angeles', 1945--1980 (2012), with David Frantz, at ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives. From 2010--2013, she worked at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). She is currently publishing a book on the work of Samara Golden, forthcoming in July 2016.

Cecilia Alemani (@ceciliaalemani) - Chief Curator of High Line Art in New York

How would you describe your Instagram feed in three words?
Art, food, and baby Gigi (my 9 month old baby.)
What is your favorite Instagram account?
Artist Tauba Auerbach (@lil_tau_au) offers an entry to her creative universe.
What does Instagram mean to the art world?
Access to art that one could not see with their own eyes.
Which deceased artist do you wish was on Instagram today?
Louise Bourgeois.
Cecilia Alemani is the Donald R. Mullen, Jr. Director & Chief Curator of High Line Art, the public art program presented by Friends of the High Line. Since 2012, Alemani has been curator of Frieze Projects for Frieze Art Fair, New York and was recently appointed the curator of the Italian Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale.

Myriam Ben Salah (@myriambensalah) - Writer and chief editor of Kaleidoscope Magazine, Curator at Palais de Tokyo in Paris

What does Instagram mean to the art world?
I don't think it is necessarily the best platform to actually see art, but I think it is a great way to dive into what's behind the art. I love artist's profiles because it gives a "backstage" approach to their practice, in a "Being John Malkovich" kind of way.
However, let's say it: it is the most efficient tool for self-promotion, to the risky point where people perform their life and perform success on Instagram. There is something unhealthy about it, which is epitomized by the very notion of FOMO (fear of missing out) and by the "super-velocity" with which we consume art, according to David Joselit.
See as much as you can, post as much as you can, and if you can't, feel bad about it.
On another note, it is still quite disturbing to have people tell you they loved your exhibition that they saw on Instagram.
Which deceased artist do you wish was on Instagram today?
I wish Gino de Dominicis was on Instagram, and I wish Andy Warhol was on Snapchat.
Myriam Ben Salah is a curator and writer based in Paris, where she has been coordinating special projects and public programs at Palais de Tokyo since 2009. She co-edits F.A.Q., a periodical image-only magazine with artist Maurizio Cattelan, and will be the curator-in-residency at Fahrenheit by FLAX (Los Angeles) starting July 2016 and is now chief-editor of Kaleidoscope Magazine.

Stuart Comer (@stuartcomer) - Chief Curator at MoMA in New York

How would you describe your Instagram feed in three words?
Analogue in Digital Clothing.
What is your favorite Instagram account?
Alison Gingeras (@theavantgardewontgiveup). Her digital contrarianism, admitting deeper histories into an ahistorical medium with deadly precise humor.
What does Instagram mean to the art world?
Unprecedented visual and technological addiction.
Which deceased artist do you wish was on Instagram today?
Alighiero e Boetti.
Stuart Comer is the Chief Curator for the Department of Media and Performance Art at MoMA New York, working to recover, present and conserve often overlooked histories of artistic experimentation, while embracing the younger artists who are pushing the conversation forward. He is currently working on shows featuring artists including Bruce Conner, Tony Oursler, Mark Leckey and Alexandra Bachzetsis.

Luca Lo Pinto (@lucalopintoo) - Curator at Kunsthalle Wien

How would you describe your Instagram feed in three words?
Funny, boring, supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.
What is your favorite Instagram account?
Jonathan Monk (@monkpictures). I can buy his works through his profile.
What does Instagram mean to the art world?
Providing a dialogue between Kanye West and Richard Prince about the status of art.
Which deceased artist do you wish was on Instagram today?
On Kawara.
Luca Lo Pinto is a curator based between Wien and Rome. He currently works as curator at the Kunsthalle Wien. He is co-founder of the magazine and publishing house NERO.

Jochen Volz (@volzjochen) - Curator of the Bienal de São Paulo

How would you describe your Instagram feed in three words?
Art, kids, curiosities.
What is your favorite Instagram account?
Alice Rawsthorn (@alice.rawsthorn), because everyday it's a generous invitation to learn about design.
What does Instagram mean to the art world?
More pictures.
Jochen Volz is the Curator of the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016) and has served as Head of Programmes of the Serpentine Galleries in London between 2012 and 2015. He is also a curator of the Instituto Inhotim, where he was the General Director between 2005 and 2007 and Artistic Director between 2007 and 2012. Volz was also co-curator of Fare Mondi, the international exhibition of the 53rd Venice Biennial in 2009.
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