The Coolest Artists You Need to Follow on Instagram

We've curated a list sure to spice up your feed and broaden your knowledge of art.
Reading time 6 minutes

Perfectly curated Açaí bowls, La Mer-filled cabinets, yoga retreats in Tulum, and models with dewy skin all seem promising, but sometimes your feed needs a bit of a change in scenery. In recent years, social media outlets such as Instagram have been a groundbreaking platform for emerging artists. Thanks to these free platforms, young creatives have the freedom to showcase their work without having to live in a major city or fall under the pressure of the highly selective white walling of galleries or museums. As a result, many cool artists that may be less prevalent from a museum perspective are instead cultivating a following on the 'gram. Read up to find out more about the best artists to follow!

This London-based artist has proven to be a fashion favourite, having shot and directed Burberry's last Christmas campaign, which featured Naomi Campbell. Beyond this, she is often showcasing her artistic work on and off the internet, and, upon first glance at her Instagram, one thing is for sure: she uses a lot of millennial pink. But the colour doesn't have to be synonymous with happy-ever-after imagery. From Barbie-killed-Ken-inside-a-ChaCha-Matcha vibes to a series of staged self-portraits in a house built by the founder of Avon Cosmetics, Juno Calypso really knows how to stage and capture the *creepy* moment.

You may have seen his designs on the hangers of Opening Ceremony or modeled on the Clermont Twins. But Patrick Church, on top of his standout fashion work, also happens to be an incredibly talented painter. His feed features mostly his clothing designs and hand-painted leather jackets, but from time to time, you'll get a glimpse of his canvases and his gorgeous Bushwick loft, the walls of which are covered with his iconic face paintings.

"I started playing with soft pastel and charcoal on a large scale, and, all of a sudden, I began writing this story," said Toyin Ojih Odutola, the Nigerian-born visual artist whose drawings are comparable to the likes of Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley (the artists who painted the presidential portraits of Michelle and Barack Obama). Odutola's work looks like it's straight out of a high fashion magazine spread and will take you to the most unreal of places. Her large-scale drawings address African-American identity as she "reimagines black experience."

Picture miniature dollhouses made not for dolls, but snails. You read that right, snails. Only an artist like Aleia Murawski can make the slimy creatures look so appealing. The artist creates tiny versions of '70s diners, heart-shaped jacuzzis, and kitsch motel suites built specifically for snails. But the snails are not the only ones who enjoy these miniature settings. Gucci's creative director, Alessandro Michele, hand-picked Murawski for one of Gucci's sneaker campaigns, for which she created a mini slime and strawberry bedroom for a pair of sneakers.

The Taipei native's work explores millennial identity, and fittingly, the internet is the primary medium for her work - she even made an Instagram filter called I Love I (very millennial). Once a fashion designer who interned for Jason Wu, she branched out in the world of visual art to create vivid and eccentric work. In one particular photo piece, Yuyi pasted temporary tattoos of nude self-portraits onto the skin of pork cuts. The artist, who describes her work as random, tricky and fun, has caught the eye of brands like Gucci, Nike, Maison Margiela, and Carven, who have invited her to collaborate on commercial campaigns.

How does the history of algorithms tell us what is acceptable, what is popular, what is desirable, what is meaningful, what is deserving of attention? These are some of the questions that the work of Mandy Harris attempts to answer. The Harlem-born, LA-based artist creates work that is based on Instagram algorithms, and the result will make you think critically about social media. Mandy Harris is also an educator and hopes to entice you to #BrownUpYourFeed, a social media campaign she launched to encourage digital diversity.

For Ashley Armitage, photography is the medium through which she can spread body positivity awareness. "I want to show different body types, different genders, different skin tones, and things that society would say are imperfect, like fat rolls, pimples, or stretch marks," said the artist. Armitage also directed the Project Body Hair campaign for the razor brand Billie and has done work for Gucci, Nordstrom, and Lazy Oaf.

Instead of using a canvas, Xenia Valevskaya works her magic on people's faces. Even before Euphoria took over the fashion world, the artist was experimenting with brightly coloured beauty. Based in Moscow, Valevskaya showcases a craft ranging from pearl-lined eyes to fluorescent winged liner, and sometimes she really goes for it by transforming runway models into creepily stylish aliens.

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