The Influence of Social Media on Art and Artists

By | Published on Apr 16, 2024 | in , ,


Social media now has a significant influence on almost every facet of our life. We rely on ubiquitous and all-knowing platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter to engage in communication, stay informed about global events, organize our schedules, fulfill our materialistic desires, and even fulfill our need for social actions, among other things.

Hence, it is inevitable for art, with its constant capacity to both mirror and shape its surrounding cultures, to be intricately connected inside the expanding network of social media. However, the interaction between these two realms is both rewarding and sometimes problematic. Although social media may greatly facilitate and promote artistic expression, it also raises concerns about censorship and blurs the line between art and other forms of creative or design work that may strive for similar recognition.

The issue of sharing art on social platforms is now relevant, particularly due to the increasing popularity of art selfies, which may be seen as a delicate balance between self-centeredness and self-promotion. When attending a museum or exhibition for Jayasri Burman Paintings, it has become commonplace to see visitors casually walking by the artwork, phone in hand, ready to take a quick photo, and immediately share it with the relevant hashtag. Instead of gazing at the art directly with their own eyes, they watch it via the screen of their gadget. However, does this desire for an ideal Instagram post or narrative hinder the ability to have an authentic and sincere encounter with the artwork, or does it indicate a distinct kind of interaction with the piece?

Transitioning from the practice of tagging to the use of hashtags

Street art has undergone adaptation and evolution in response to the global impact of social media, embracing its influence. Instagram has significantly influenced the aesthetics and consumption of street art and graffiti by introducing the digital architecture of hashtagging, which originated from the first forms of street tagging. The incorporation of location-sharing features in social media platforms has facilitated the globalization of street art.

A piece of street art that is uploaded on Instagram with appropriate hashtags has the potential to become viral like a Vinita Karim Painting, sparking a virtual reaction worldwide. When seen as a digital entity, street art has the ability to persist and reach a wider audience, freeing itself from the limitations of its physical location and temporary nature. An undesirable consequence is the possible increase in ubiquity, as online tendencies dominate and lead to a reduction and weakening of variety.

Street artists have increasingly adopted social media as an integral part of their artistic practice. They utilize it to document their creative processes, share their work, and draw inspiration. They incorporate the distinctive aesthetics and conventions of social media platforms like Instagram or Facebook into their street art, often making repetitive references to the characteristic language of these platforms.

Does the connection between art and social media revolve around financial gains?

Social media not only changes our perception of culture and artworks like Jayasri Burman Paintings but also partially converts street art into promotional platforms for companies, merchants, restaurateurs, and even fitness centers. Corporations are exploiting the demography of individuals who take selfies by enticing them with murals that are geotagged to become viral. This kind of guerrilla advertising is aimed at generating profit. This ‘Instagram Street Art’ does not accurately reflect the political and social intentions that are inherent in traditional street art. Instead, it only exploits the popularity of street art for the sake of gaining recognition, followers, likes, and eventually, financial gain.

These days, the wall has become a prominent attraction on Instagram, drawing a daily influx of thousands of visitors, mostly tourists, who come to capture a photo or take a selfie. These visitors arrive with the intention of generating self-generated content, without realizing that they are really participating in a well-planned marketing effort that benefits the store, as well as the nearby coffee shops and restaurants, which are prepared to satisfy their hunger after the photo session.

The new habits of interacting with art, ranging from marketing to narcissism, are fundamentally demonstrating the profound influence that social media is exerting on many aspects of our lives. Is it alarming or uplifting? Undoubtedly, there are other perspectives to consider. Although some trends and profit-oriented strategies may prioritize the harsh aspects of consumerism and, as a result, diminish the alternative intrinsic value system treasured by the art world, social media may also facilitate really novel relationships and exciting experiences.

Social Media and the Artist

Until recently, the primary responsibility of an artist was to produce artwork and also to manifest whatever idea they may conceive within their range of abilities. Artists who had marketable work collaborated with art galleries to sell their artwork. As their renown expanded and their artwork was purchased, their prices escalated along with their representation and sales proficiency. Simultaneously, they persisted in their efforts to construct and develop a collection of their work.

Although this approach had shortcomings, such as the inadequate representation of minorities, it did enable artists to concentrate on the act of creation. The arduous tasks of marketing, selling, and establishing connections with customers were delegated to the gallery.

Concluding Remarks

An artist must possess a multitude of qualities beyond just creativity. They must constantly be on display, nourishing the dynamic algorithms of social media. During the process of creation, it is necessary for them to capture films and images, ensuring that they possess a professional appearance with seamless transitions, meticulous lighting, well-selected music, and captivating commentary. Aspiring artists increasingly need to allocate their funds, formerly used for materials, into software or applications, props, and advanced equipment for capturing high-quality photographs and videos, and promoting their postings.

The quantity of likes or follows gained often has a detrimental effect on one’s self-esteem and assurance. Moreover, individuals who are already facing difficulties find it more convenient to evaluate their own progress, so inhibiting their imaginative abilities and establishing a cycle of events in which they have difficulties in generating content. In the contemporary art world, it is essential for artists to possess skills in public relations and social media management instead of only focusing on producing art for commercial purposes.

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