Top Ten: International Art World Influencers
Choi Seung Hyun
Better known by the moniker T.O.P, Choi Seung Hyun is best known for his career in the K-pop group, Big Band.
However, his 8.2 million Instagram followers also follow Choi to get a look at his personal collection of blue-chip art. This pricey collection contains artists like Jonas Wood and Ed Ruscha, and the works are interposed between images of his band mates and stills from his forthcoming movie. Choi has been collecting art since he was 18 and, last year, he collaborated with Sotheby’s to curate the art auction #TTTOP.
Toyin Ojih Odutola
Nigerian-born artist Toyin Ojih Odutola likes to tease her dedicated followers with glimpses of her works-in-progress.
Her figurative work was featured on the TV series Empire, and she is currently working on a hotly anticipated solo show, “To Wander Determined,” opening this October at the Whitney. On her Instagram feed, images from her studio life mingle with shots of her favorite gallery pieces.
Nancy Spector is the chief curator and artistic director of the Guggenheim, as well as an outspoken activist.
Spector recently began using Instagram to re-publish a few of the letters written by international artists opposing the so-called Muslim Ban, more prescient than ever before. As one of the most influential curators working today, the value of her efforts for social justice cannot be overstated.
Kimberly Drew's saga begins with the creation of her Tumblr blog, Black Contemporary Art, back in 2011.
She has used the account since its inception to highlight emerging black artists and spaces that deserve more attention. Now the social media manager for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, her Instagram feed features a mix of both up-and-coming young talent and overlooked figures from the recent past. In her more personal photos, you can find record of her political engagement and her international travels, most recently to the opening of Zeitz MOCAA in South Africa.
David Rimanelli's Instagram feed is more like a digital museum.
The art critic wrote some early screeds on social media as a contributor to Artforum, but his 2014 piece, "Like, Totally," heralded a tenfold increase in his follower count.
Eva Respini is the "curator on the run." Trotting from one great art show to the next both locally and globally, Respini deserves the moniker.
She is currently the chief curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Boston, and although her Instagram feed boasts a mix of art from various locations, those displayed within her home institute are arguably the most striking.
Entrepreneur Adrian Cheng is a Hong Kong collector, as well as the scion of a real estate and jewelry empire.
A far-reaching influencer, Cheng has been using his clout to champion the Asian art market and support its artists. On his Instagram feed, you will find documentation of his international travels as he hops between art exhibitions, fashion shows, and restaurants. In 2008, he founded the K11 art mall and its partnering foundation (KAF), most recently announcing a collaboration with the New Museum to produce the group show “After Us” at the K11 museum in Shanghai.
If you're looking for a guide to the people and places you should know in the downtown New York art scene, you need look no further than the Instagram feed of Matthew Higgs.
Director and chief curator of White Columns in New York, Higgs is an energetic force within the city and a wealth of unexpected recommendations of historical books, magazines, and poster art. Don't forget to look for photos of his dog, Olive, as well.
Michael Xufu Huang
Millennial art collector Michael Xufu Huange is considered one of the more precocious figures in the contemporary art market.
He started his collection at the tender age of 16 and went on to co-found the contemporary art museum M WOODS in Beijing before graduating from the University of Pennsylvania. Huange, now only 23, has already hosted one blockbuster exhibition at M WOODS and also sits on the board of the New Museum. His feed contains lots of flawlessly composed images of himself among stunning art and in exotic locations.
Co-founder of Digital Brand Architects, a talent management agency geared toward social media influencers, Karen Robinovitz is a striking presence with a selective artistic eye.
Social media branding is her job, and her follower count of over 60k only hints at her prowess. On Robinovitz's Instagram, a collection vibrant abstract and surreal art is bound to delight and befuddle any curious follower.
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