Top 5 Artists to Follow on Instagram

Words by Jody Hume | 9.29.14
Whether you’re looking for a window into the day-to-day life of an artist or an extension of their work, Instagram offers unprecedented access to the behind-the-scenes worlds of artists. And while their feeds often reflect their expertise at photography, design and composition, they’re not immune to the occasional selfie or cat photo. From Ai Weiwei’s posts as political dissent to Takashi Murakami’s life in the studio, we’ve selected five artists you’ll want to follow on Instagram.
1. Jeff Koons: @jeffkoonsofficial

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Jeff Koons may not be the most prolific poster on Instagram (yet), but he’s using the platform not only to share images of his iconic balloon works, but to engage with followers. Post and tag a pic of one of the pieces currently on view at Koons’ Whitney retrospective and he just may regram it.
2. Ai Weiwei: @aiww

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Artist and activist Ai Weiwei, on the other hand, has posted thousands of images that offer an intimate look at his life, from bicycle basket flower bouquets to #catsofinstagram and of course, selfies. His feed is also a venue for artistic protest where he regrams images bearing the phrase “Ai Can’t Be Here” — a statement against his 2011 detention by the Chinese government and subsequent inability to travel due to the seizure of his passport. His latest exhibition, @Large, which brings to light the stories of political prisoners across the world and explores themes of imprisonment and human rights abuses, will be on view at Alcatraz through April 26, 2105.
3. Richard Prince: @richardprince4

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Recently back on Instagram after his account was suspended, Richard Prince is uniquely suited to the medium. He’s even been quoted as saying, “It’s almost like it was invented for someone like myself. It’s like carrying around a gallery in your pocket.” Famous for his rephotography and appropriation of images, Prince has taken to printing out celebrities’ Instagrams, adding his own commentary and exhibiting them privately at Gagosian Gallery in New York. Follow now in case he’s banned again and feel free to #regram.
4. Vik Muniz: @vikmuniz

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Come for Brazilian artist Vik Muniz’s vibrant, socially conscious art, stay for the beautiful, frame-worthy beachscapes. In addition to photos of his exhibition openings and artworks in progress, like his latest project to revamp the roofscape of a Rio de Janeiro school, he shares what can only be described as joyous, fun-loving snaps of his family, travels and friends from chefs to actors to fellow artists.
5. Takashi Murakami: @takashipom

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“I am Sunday photographer, I aim at the various effects!” Murakami proclaims in his bio. On the Japanese artist’s feed, you’ll find glimpses of his life in the studio at work on new pieces, like those in his latest series featuring the words “hollow” and “death hate I” spray painted over kaleidoscopic stacks of skulls and his iconic flowers. Murakami is also fond of the selfie, posting pics where he turns the lens on himself wearing his trademark round glasses on his forehead, listening to headphones or showing off one of his baseball caps.
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