There’s no art collecting without social media, says art influencer

Instagram has a prominent place in the art market.

The social network’s algorithms make it possible to significantly increase the visibility of certain artists both with the general public and with professionals in the sector. This is why Sotheby’s has decided to use them for one of its next sales.

The sale in question is titled “Jerry Gogosian Suggested Followers: How the Algorithm Is Always Right.” It’s curated by Hilde Lynn Helphenstein, the gallery owner and exhibition organizer behind one of the most caustic – and influential – Instagram accounts in the art world.

The name @jerrygogosian refers to American art critic Jerry Saltz and king of art dealers Larry Gagosian. It’s the Instagram account of an avatar of the art world that pokes fun at the excesses of market behemoths, including multi-millionaire artists and the powerful galleries that represent them.

This parody account has managed to build an audience of more than 112,000 subscribers since its launch in 2019. Its success is partly due to the social network’s discreet algorithms which recommend to art lovers accounts likely to appeal to them, as well as the “Discover” Pages.

These same technologies have also enabled Helphenstein to discover a few artists whose works it has selected for the “Jerry Gogosian’s Suggested Followers” sale. Among them are American artists Gigi Rose Gray and William Buchina, South Korean artist Ho Jae Kim and Japanese-American artist Megumi Shauna Arai.

“Think of how most people discover art these days. It’s usually through Instagram: you find like one artist and suggest eight others in the same vein. The further you go, the more the network of artists expands, and suddenly you’re intimately aware of their practice,” said Helphenstein, writing as Jerry Gogosian.

The sale “Jerry Gogosian’s Suggested Followers” revolves around twenty works. They are auctioned on the Sotheby’s Buy Now platform.

“Because ‘the algorithm is always right,’ it suggests artists who may rise to prominence in the near future. This collection represents the art of today, embodying unique perspectives and freshness,” said the auction house.

Art aficionados interested in seeing works from the “Jerry Gogosian’s Suggested Followers: How The Algorithm Is Always Right” sale can view them at Sotheby’s New York Galleries from September 24 through October 3. -AFP

Christopher S. Washington