We recently sat down with with Astrid de Maismont, Head Curator at Gertrude and ArtList, to discuss the intersection of curating, Instagram, and the art market.
Art Market Monitor: In a survey published by Artsy, @artlistco was selected by collectors as a suggested Instagram account to follow, among @jerrysaltz and @hyperallergic. With over 100,000 followers, why was your account so compelling?
Astrid de Maismont: I think people are interested in our perspective, to get a glimpse into what we’re seeing in real time. We aim for an overview of the art world: artists, galleries, institutions, and events. Aside from established tastemakers, we are fortunate to be able to champion emerging artists and enable others to discover their work. It can be difficult for an artist starting out with no gallery representation, but the widespread reach of Instagram certainly helps.
Art Market Monitor: How has Instagram changed the role of the art curator?
AM: The curator has always been a public figure, but with the advent of social media, the curator has shifted from a local or national presence to more of a global one. Not only has our audience grown, but our accessibility and engagement has as well. Followers of our accounts can directly message us online and get a behind-the-scenes look.
Art Market Monitor: What about the interface itself though? Instagram functions a bit like a digital archive. How has that been of use?
AM: Hashtags have been vital. When someone posts a photo with the name of the gallery, artist, or exhibition in a hashtag, they enter a network. This network gives us a sense of the reach of our efforts and a library of images we would not otherwise be aware of. We get a sense of the larger trends in contemporary art and the reactions and experiences of others.
Art Market Monitor: I’m sure it helps on the commercial end as well.
AM: Definitely. The online marketplace for buying and selling art has been growing increasingly popular. Some collectors rely on Instagram to view works or contact a gallery they can’t see in person. I don’t think anyone negates the necessity of seeing a work in person though.
Art Market Monitor: Where do you think the platform is heading in terms of buying art?
AM: I think it will become a much more interactive e-commerce site. Right now it’s more geared towards the engagement with content, but Instagram has begun testing the idea of selling directly using shopable tags. They have begun with fashion, and I envision one day we should be able to buy art directly from Instagram too.