It’s no secret that the art world, with its mirrored rabbit sculptures and monochromatic canvases selling for millions and millions and zillions of dollars, is ripe for lambasting. And Instagram, more than any other platform, has emerged as a home for some of the best art-world trolling. We rounded up some of our favorite accounts below.
It’s Time to Stop Now
Established: December 2014
Social stats: Around 700 followers | @itstimetostopnow
The gist: This is a good one if you’re looking to find art-world power players throwing shade at one another in the comments section (especially if you like to hear from art advisor Todd Levin). The perpetually stone-faced Klaus Biesenbach is a consistent target for the account, as are artnet News (bring it on, sister), and painter Jonas Wood.
Likely author: We won’t pretend to know.
Established: September 2018
Social stats: Nearly 26,000 followers | @jerrygagosian
The gist: This crabby little account was covered by outlets such as WideWalls and Sleek Magazine—but now the person behind the iPhone seems to have become a little anxious. Just a few days ago, @itstimetostopnow called Jerry Gogosian out, claiming that the holder of the account got a free trip to Frieze New York, paid for by the art fair. And then, all of a sudden—is it pure coincidence?—Jerry went private.
Likely author: According to @itstimetostopnow, it’s former gallerist Hilde Lynn Helphenstein. And indeed, there are striking similarities between interviews done by Helphenstein and those done by Jerry. For one, they both seem to have an abiding love for the real Mr. Gagosian…
What an Artshole
Established: November 2018
Social stats: Nearly 4,000 followers | @whatanartshole
The gist: This forward-thinking account has a few bugaboos including (but not limited to) art advisors who work for Saudi crown price Mohammed bin Salman; very rich artists who stick blue balls in front of badly made reproductions of famous paintings; and Philippe Ségalot, the man with absolutely perfect hair.
Likely author: We’re at a loss on this one.
Ed Fornier Art; Andrea Vincent Art Advisory; Roger Plemens Collection
Established: All October 2018
Social stats: Around 3,000 followers in total | @ed.fornier.art | @a.vincent.artadvisory | @rogerplemenscollection
The gist: These three may be our favorites: two delightfully stupid, fictitious collectors and their funny little foolish advisor. Their back-and-forths are the stuff of legend. In one post, Andrea Vincent, the advisor, gushes over the silly simplicity of a John Baldessari work. Perfect for a billiards room, she says. One of the collectors, Ed Fornier jumps right in: “Like I always say, art is just really nice decoration and this guy really gets that. Oh and before someone corrects me—art isn’t just decoration, it’s also a terrific financial investment.”
Likely author: All we can say is, we hope these are not real people…
Established: February 2015
Social stats: Nearly 11,000 followers | @freeze_de
The gist: Though now defunct, this account satirizing Frieze magazine still has an impressive number of followers. These days, it serves as a time capsule for the state of the art world circa 2015, though the memes vilifying commercial art dealers and ignorant collectors are still chortle-inducing.
Likely author: An editor at an art news outfit (ahem).
Not Your Backdrop
Established: February 2016
Social stats: More than 700 followers | @notyourbackdrop
The gist: This account is less laugh-out-loud funny and more humbly incisive, simply pointing out that there’s more to going to museums than using art as a backdrop for your self-indulgent selfies. The vaguely finger-wagging tone is kind of refreshing, if we’re being honest, even if it is a little puritanical.
Likely author: Philippe de Montebello, obviously.
Beuys On the Street
Established: December 2018
Social stats: Nearly 700 followers | @beuysonthestreet
The gist: In 1982, Conceptual artist Joseph Beuys started planting 7,000 trees at documenta 7 in Kassel, each accompanied by a basalt stone column standing about four feet high. Six years later, the Dia Foundation continued his project in Chelsea. The basalt stone columns are still there. And some of them are surrounded by garbage. You can see how this is a perfect Instaragm account idea.
Likely author: This one’s easy: per the account bio, we know that the authors are beleaguered Dia employees annoyed by the ignorance of passers-by who don’t realize the significance of Beuys’s great work.
The Thirsty Gallerina
Established: November 2018
Social stats: More than 200 followers | @thirstygallerina
The gist: This account is essentially a public service. Looking for a cold one at a Thursday gallery opening? Look here to find a perfectly curated list of where you can grab a wine or brew.
Likely author: We have it on good authority that the masterminds here are two senior artnet employees and that’s all we’re saying about that.
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