As you know, FAD is passionate about all things interesting and also about the bridge between the digital and real worlds. You also probably know that over the past few years Instagram has transformed the way artists have started to communicate with the wider public, galleries, curators and collectors.
So when we found out that Unit London was hosting a sixty artist strong painting exhibition in their gallery with artists pulled from the highly successful @Paintguide instagram account we had to do something different to cover this really interesting exhibition.
Over the next few weeks, FAD will be interviewing six of the sixty artists over on our Instagram account @FADsite starting with the curator of the exhibition, artist Henrik Uldalen then following up with artists Jeremy Geddes, Jeremy Mann, Martin Wittfooth, Greg “Craola” Simkins and Dan Quintana.
@Paintguide Allison Sommers, The Permanence of Nothing At All, gouache and mixed media with collage on paper
Presenting a physical realisation of Henrik Uldalen’s @Paintguide Instagram feed which has been meticulously curated over the past year to promote the work of emerging international artists, the Paintguide exhibition explores Instagram’s growing role within the art market, and more broadly the impact of social media in the democratisation of art. The digital era is changing the way in which individuals, artists and collectors engage with visual art and Paintguide will encourage viewers to reflect on how they interact with artworks through the modern phenomenon of Instagram. Paintguide aims to underscore Instagram’s role in facilitating relationships between artists and collectors, but will ultimately underline the continued importance of viewing works in a gallery setting.
Joe Kennedy and Jonny Burt comment:
“We are thrilled to be hosting Paintguide at Unit London. As a physical realisation of a social media feed, the exhibition illustrates the convergence of digital and analogue mediums within the art world. Paintguide has built an engaged community of artists, enthusiasts and collectors alike, and in an industry that has a reputation of being both secretive and exclusionary, uses social media as a means of increasing transparency and accessibility within the art world, which is a goal that we as a gallery share.”
Born in South Korea but raised in Norway, Uldalen trained first as a primary school teacher and taught for two years before finding his true calling as an artist.
Whilst teaching, Uldalen began to experiment with oils and his work was soon discovered by a local Oslo gallery. As Uldalen’s presence on social media grew, so did his international reputation, securing formal overseas gallery representation with Unit London through Instagram.
Uldalen promoted his own work through a personal Instagram account, and set-up Paintguide, which he initially used as a platform to share works of art that personally inspired him. Following a highly successful takeover of the Paintguide account by Alex Kanevsky, Uldalen found himself inundated with requests for Paintguide takeovers from other like-minded, social media savvy artists. Paintguide, as it exists today, was born; each week a new artist is appointed as curator of the Paintguide feed, posting works that have inspired them, as well as their own pieces.
As each guest artist boasts an individual following of between 30 to 250,000 followers, Paintguide’s own following has swelled dramatically, and currently stands at 142,000. Uldalen estimates that between 5 to 10,000 Instagram users chose to follow Paintguide every week, each enjoying the wealth and breadth of work on offer.
Over the past three years Uldalen has been able to build strong personal relationships with artists featured on his account, so when he approached them with his exhibition proposal most jumped at the chance.
Many of the artists featured in Paintguide have built successful careers on social media, including several who have found formal gallery representation through Instagram, offering an indication of the art world’s shift in focus towards social and digital platforms. With each artist promoting the exhibition through their own personal Instagram accounts, Unit London expect the combined outreach of the exhibition to be astounding, which will in turn underline the power of Instagram as an invaluable marketing tool.
Exhibiting Melbourne-based artist, Jeremy Geddes notes:
“the internet and more recently social media has had a profound impact on artists. It has broken open the traditional models of establishing careers and allowed artists of similar mindsets to find each other and work in solidarity. This Instagram show aptly illustrates this emerging model; Paintguide has brought together artists with differing styles and aesthetic sensibilities, all of whom however, share a passion for the visual arts.”
Henrik Uldalen and Daniela Bezdan
Paintguide 27th November – 23rd December 2015 Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 11AM – 7PM Location: 147 Wardour Street, London, W1F 8WD theunitldn.com
@Paintguide @FADsite @TheUNITLondon
Twitter: @theunitlondon #Paintguide @FADsite
About the Curator
Henrik Uldalen (b. 1986, South Korea) is a self-taught figurative painter who lives and works in London. Solo exhibitions include: Thinkspace, Los Angeles, USA (2014); Galerie Contour, Skagen, Denmark (2011); Galleri Ramfjord, Oslo, Norway (2010, 2009). Group exhibitions include: Friends of Leon Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2015); Gallery 1261, Denver, USA (2015); Inner State Gallery, Detroit, USA (2015); LA Municipal Art Gallery, Los Angeles (2015); Modern Eden, San Francisco, USA (2015); Hashimoto Contemporary, San Francisco, USA (2015), Arcadia Contemporary, New York, USA (2014); Thinkspace, Los Angeles, USA (2014, 2013, 2012); Corey Helford Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (2013); Gallery 1261, Denver, USA (2013); NOoSPHERE Arts, New York, USA (2012); Spoke Art, San Francisco, USA (2012); J. LeVine Gallery, Art Basel, Switzerland (2012); Stricoff Fine Art, New York, USA (2012); S Cube Gallery, Los Angeles, USA (2011); Galleri V58, Aarhaus, Denmark (2011).
About Unit London
Founded in 2013 by Joe Kennedy and Jonny Burt, Unit London represents the next generation of contemporary and progressive fine art, showcasing both established and emerging artists from around the world.
The gallery has developed a significant network of clients and collectors, as well as a loyal celebrity following including the likes of David Bailey, Sir Bob Geldof, Jude Law, Jean Paul Gaultier, Nick Grimshaw and Jesse Eisenberg.
@Paintguide Ryan Hewett, Heizer, oil and spray on canvas, 50 x 50 cm