The Tate Modern, Britain’s counterpart to New York’s MoMA, is the one of the most important contemporary art museums in the world. It’s part of the Tate group of galleries, which also includes outposts in Liverpool and St. Ives, as well as the Tate Britain, which focuses on British art. The Tate’s whole collection includes over 70,000 works.
As you’d expect of such a prominent art institution, the Tate boasts a large Instagram following, clocking in at a cool 1.3 million Instagram followers. But the museum only follows back an exclusive 112 accounts. Who are these privileged few? We took to Instagram to find out.
Unsurprisingly, the Tate follows a lot of its esteemed British art world peers: Saatchi Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Portrait Gallery. They also follow a variety of important American galleries, like the Met and the New Museum. Frieze Magazine is an expected follow, as are Ai Weiwei and Leta Sobierajski. (Though Cara Delevigne took us a bit by surprise.)
Aside from celebrities and famous galleries, who else does the Tate keep up with? There were a few surprises and hidden gems in their follower list, so we’re sharing our best finds with you. From fashion photographers to art directors these are some of the most interesting talents to watch in London and beyond. And all of their feeds are fascinating.
Originally from Romania, Iringó Demeter is a fashion photographer whose work focuses on body language. Demeter uses diffuse lighting to illuminate her subjects in moments of vulnerability, capturing the nuances of their partially exposed bodies. The portraits she showcases on her Instagram feed are full of daring intimacy.
Blending Nan Goldin-esque gritty glamour with in-between-the-moment character portraits, Adam Friedman has been photographing the underground club scenes of London and New York since the ‘80s. What unites and distinguishes Friedman’s photos is his uncanny ability to capture the joy that lives inside elevated early morning celebrations.
Infamous feminist activist collective Guerrilla Girls has been active for decades, staging street projects as well as museum exhibitions to call attention to inequality in the art world, all over the world. Their Instagram feed chronicles their latest protests and projects: a must-follow for anyone interested in critiquing the art institution.
Based in Clapham, Studio Voltaire is a not-for-profit contemporary arts organization champions emerging and underrepresented artists. Their feed is a great source for discovering new artwork, whether it’s by young contemporary artists, or lesser-known artists and pieces from the past. Expect a diverse range of painting, installation, and other forms of work.
Italian-born illustrator Alessandra Genualdo’s work achieves a two-dimensional beauty reminiscent of hieroglyphics and medieval illuminated manuscripts. Using the opaque watercolour gouache painting technique, she constructs her portraits using solid blocks of colour, giving them a collage aesthetic. Genualdo’s illustrations have been featured by Gucci, Instagram, Peroni, and Creative’s Digest.
As Instagrammer in Residence at the Barbican Centre for performing arts in London, Dolly Brown strives for visual and conceptual complexity in her photographs of dancers in motion. Brown frames her pirouetting subjects to highlight specific areas of their bodies and movements, rather than creating images of the entire performer. Simply cropping out a hand or foot is sometimes enough to give her work that extra intensity, and much of the artist’s Instagram oeuvre gives the distinct impression that the viewer is situated within an independently unfolding event rather than a photoshoot.
Stefano Colombini and Alberto Albanese founded their fashion photography collaborative Scandebergs in 2013. Dividing their time between Milan and London, the duo has since worked with the Marina Abramović Institute, Fendi, and Vogue Italia. Scandebergs’ aesthetic is in tune with the minimalist vogue and romantic simplicity of today’s high fashion world.
As Director of Digital at The Jewish Museum New York, JiaJia Fei’s Instagram is impeccably curated—images are selected, framed, and organized according to a refined sensibility that matches colours with shapes and moods. Formerly the Guggenheim’s Associate Director of Digital Marketing, Fei’s focus at the Jewish Museum is on using digital platforms as pathways to enhance a museum’s ability to contextualize and highlight artworks.
Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Social Media Director Kimberly Drew is definitely worth a follow on Instagram. Her feed takes you behind the scenes at New York’s most famous institution, letting everyone sneak a peek at the inner workings of the art world, not to mention witty commentary on Drew’s personal life as a young black woman navigating New York’s art scene.
Agnes Lloyd-Platt is a London-based fashion photographer. Growing up with a fashion designer mother, Lloyd-Platt gained a sense of the industry early on. By the time she was directing her first shoot, a project for her mother’s company, the burgeoning photographer was already playing with insightful ideas about fashion’s potential as high art. Her portraits’ bright, single-colour backdrops create a still life aesthetic.
Made exclusively by women of color, Gal-Dem is a magazine to watch. Founded by a woman who was frustrated by the lack of the diversity at her university, the magazine covers everything from politics to art with a creative focus. Their Instagram feed is full of stunning fashion shoots as well as updates on current events.
Cover image by Agnes Lloyd-Platt.