With the current lockdown eliminating the tactility of art, the shift to online has changed the way we experience it. Social media outlets, particularly Instagram, have helped fill the void once held by galleries showcasing their exhibitions. Instagram has become the worldwide art gallery, and has been crawling with artistic output in abundance, seeing artists take on the alien social climate in a gamut of ways. As someone fond of art history, most of my time has been spent revisiting classic works of art, from the Renaissance, to Impressionism, to the abstract art of post-war America. Instagram is littered with these accounts, but here are a few examples of those which I think stand out for having the best content:
Painters.paintings is a great account for anyone looking to rediscover the art of the past. The content on this page is incredibly well sourced from the archives, with artists that you probably didn’t even know existed. A series of daily paintings will centre on one particular artist, focusing on the great details behind every painting of every period. Currently, the page focuses on the American Impressionist, James Tissot (the most recent to date). But it has examined the work of more prominent artists the likes of Egon Schiele, Edward Hopper, and Belgian Surrealist, Rene Magritte. It’s great for anyone who wants to get behind the canvas and look into art history in more detail or just to explore pretty art from the past.
Art to brighten anyone’s feed, rather strolling through drab posts and being tagged in Bill Clinton music memes by five different people. Arthistoryfeed is a feed that covers everything from prehistoric art to the present day. Perfect for anyone who just wants to appreciate art in its most simplistic form. You don’t have to be an obsessive art history troglodyte to appreciate this feed. If you just want something different on your Instagram, then, by all means, it’s a great gateway to explore the timeline of movements in art history with some truly spellbinding art.
But Instagram feeds aren’t the only form that art has utilized in this challenging time. Live Youtube streams are also a unique (and long) option for something to watch when you are tired of TV. Youtube live streams of artists showing tutorials of some of their basic works and showing off their style can feel like literally watching paint dry, but it is calming to have silence for a couple of hours. A particular example for people who like quirky art done with endearing passion, is Sheffield artist Pete McKee. His livestream, ‘Watching paint dry’ is amusing as well as charming. As well as this, he hosted a music quiz – great camaraderie for another night in.
Digital art is in such needed supply, and hopefully some of these examples will appeal to you. Either way, art provides a great purpose at this time: not just to educate, but to entertain.