Collecting In The Age of Instagram

Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known - Oscar Wilde

As art collectors, we can’t help but to observe an overwhelming sameness of the art we see through our screens. It’s no different than other aspects of culture (e.g. fashion, travel, etc), but art at its core is inherently personal. From its inception to acquisition, art exists to invoke emotion to anyone who cares to partake in it. If you’re experiencing art through the pixels of your phone, does it make it any different?

Don’t get us wrong, despite the downsides, social media has added enormous value in our lives and frankly, the reason why we @LeagueOTO are here. It enables us to share the vibrant works of today’s prominent artists and inspires us to build up our personal collections. But all this begs the question, if we’re all seeing, buying and sharing the same things, what’s the point?

Log onto Instagram and you’ll see your feed flushed with X’s, psychedelic flowers, and repetitious pop culture cartoon characters. Readymade for your phone, these pieces are instantly recognizable, relatable and act as a pseudo cultural-currency. Post it, the likes will come. Own (a lot of) it, the follows will come.

It’s hard to say whether any of this matters. What’s clear is that a good number of us are spending a lot of money collecting art that social media tells us is important. Maybe it’s stellar work, maybe it’s a great investment or maybe you’re doing it for the ‘gram, but when the phones are down and the fans aren’t looking, does the art bring you joy?

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.

-J