Do social media make us be more connected or disconnected? Why are they so addicting? It’s likely that it responds to basic human needs of communication and recognition. Didn’t humans start to share with others by drawing in caves? The evolution of communication multiply the possibilities of connecting with hundreds of people which can create this amazing feeling of being connected and liked… but is this just all an illusion?
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Instagram was conceived mainly to share photos but it’s now clearly also a platform to share more than that and Lauren Glazer proves that well.
Lauren is a young art instagramer, based in New York whose signature style is to share a rich content about the artists or artworks that she gets to see during her adventures in the art world. What started in 2015, as a way to share her interest with family and friends has grown and Lauren has developed a significant platform.
I had the chance to meet her during an open studio while I was a resident artist at MANA Contemporary. I quickly became a fan of her posts which give me a chance to see more art than I can on a weekly basis and learn something new each time. So if you want to have a quality dose of art, click and follow Lauren Glazer and read below to know more about her 🙂
What led you to create your instagram account?
I moved to NYC to obtain my MA in Art Business at Sotheby’s Institute, which exposed me to the gallery scene in the city. I wanted to share what I was seeing in NYC with my friends and family back in the South as the art cultures are so different. If you scroll back to 2015, you’ll see that I hardly wrote anything, if at all, maybe just the basic information about the piece but then I wanted to give an explanation so that the contemporary and conceptual works would make sense. My account was private until December 1st, 2015, which is when I went to Art Basel in Miami. I didn’t take my Instagram account seriously until then as it previously had been my personal account. I had an art history degree but my contemporary art knowledge was limited. Going to the galleries and learning about the artists was how I caught up to speed and I wanted to share my journey online. Instagram felt like the best platform on which to do that.
How did you grow your platform?
Lots of trial and error, luck, talking to people and trying to stay current. I’d like to think I grew by lucking out with the algorithm and networking for the most part. I love that I’ve always had followers who want to engage either in the comments or in private messages. I’ve used Instagram as a way to build a network and make some really good friends who I chat with about art and some that I’ve met in person. I think being part of an online community helps me grow as I met one of my best friends through Instagram and we see art together. We feature each other in our stories and posts and so I would like to think we help grow each other’s following. I used to think that hashtags were an important part of growing your following but now that I switched to a business account I get more insights and most of my views come from current followers.
You studied art history and you share art stories in your posts that are always interesting and fun to read. What gave you this interest in art history?
I’m so glad that you enjoy what I write! I always wonder how many people take the time to read my posts because they can be quite long and it seems hardly anyone has any time for that in this fast-paced scroll culture. Art has always been part of my life. I’m lucky enough to have parents who have always supported my interests. I always made art but my parents took me to Europe in middle school and high school and I got to see a lot of classical and impressionist art. I’m not sure there was a deciding moment that made me want to pursue art history as that course of study just made sense to me. I wanted to use it to pursue restoration and conservation but that plan changed when I realized that it was going to be a lot of science, which wasn’t really my thing. I think I liked learning the reasons for an artwork’s existence. During middle and high school, my art class would meet in the auditorium once a week and my teacher would show us images on a big screen of famous artworks and tell us about them. I think it was so that we would have a sense of history when making our own work. I remember really looking forward to going to class those days. One day we learned about Van Gogh and it must have been right before I went to Paris because when I was in the d’Orsay with my mom I pulled her across the room because I had spotted Van Gogh’s bedroom, exclaiming that I knew that painting. I think I must have seen it in class. I think that’s really when I started taking an interest in art history because I loved learning about it in the classroom and then getting to see the actual works in person.
What are the other accounts on IG that you love to follow?
@bennyor, @brettgorvy, @mariabrito_ny, @artsy, @kaws, @artfullyawear, @alexberggreun, @phoebenewyork, @noreenkahmad, @artstagram_, @publicartfund, @museummammy, @kriskulakova, @benoitgram, @littletwins_bigapple
Do you think social media changes the way we experience art?
I could go on and on about this topic but I’ll try and give you the short version. I most definitely think that social media changes the way we see art because we spend more time looking at the work through our phones than with our own eyes. Experiencing art becomes about how it will look online instead of capturing photos to help us remember our visit. I’ve caught myself considering not going to a few exhibitions just because I knew it wasn’t something that fit my brand of what I post or because I knew that photography wasn’t allowed for that exhibition. Before Instagram, I never would have hesitated to go see a show. I have tried to be more conscious about not spending all my time on my phone when I see art and spend time with it without a screen between us. I try to get my photographs done first then enjoy the show because most of the time I have a good idea of what I am going to post before I go see art. Sometimes things surprise me as something will look different than it did online or I hadn’t seen it in my research. Social media captures a lot but it doesn’t capture everything because works are better experienced in person rather than online.
An anecdote that you would like to share?
I love meeting artists, especially ones that I have studied or have followed their careers for a while. In the spring of 2015, while I was writing my undergraduate thesis on visual literacy and its role in curating, I got to meet Vik Muniz. I talked with my professor/ thesis advisor/ mentor and told her that Vik Muniz, who was an essential part of the latter half of my undergraduate studies, was giving a talk at the High Museum in Atlanta. She encouraged me to go and I was on my way. I was in disbelief that I was going to hear Vik Muniz speak in person instead of seeing him through a screen. I had read so many of his essays, books, watched various videos and Ted Talk. I was so excited that when we got to the auditorium I raced to the front and I sat on the edge of my seat the entire time listening intently. It was my first time seeing someone that I had studied and I spent so much time learning about his work that it was surreal. When the fascinating talk was finally over, I raced up to the short line of people to meet him so that he could sign my copy of his catalogue. I told him what my favorite works were and that he was a crucial part of my thesis to which he responded with a laugh “well that’s not intimidating.” I got my picture with him too and the whole ride home I was just in complete shock that I had finally met Vik Muniz.
What is your dream project?
I have a lot of things that I want to do but I really admire the Public Art Fund and I would love to start something of my own like it in a smaller town or city. I think public art is so important because it allows people to engage with art who wouldn’t be able to otherwise. I also have always loved large outdoor sculpture and so I think that it would be a fun but rewarding project to take on later down the road.
To follow: Lauren Glazer