Henri Matisse was famously quoted as saying “Art is an escape from reality.” How fortunate we are to exist in a time where we can find our escapes through the internet via social media platforms like Instagram, without ever having to leave our homes. Especially when we really shouldn’t leave home, for the sake of public health and the good of our fellow humans. And while museums, galleries and cultural institutions around the world are making programming more accessible than ever by migrating it online and through streaming services, sometimes we just need to tune out and let our minds wander.
Enter: the artists of Instagram. Where feeds are curated with content and color palettes in mind not simply to create a cohesive brand experience, but to set a mood for immersion. No depressing pandemic article binge should go unbalanced without recalibrating the sense of joy and wonder frivolous social media discovery grants us.
Without further ado, we present 10 artist’s Instagram accounts that will surely take your mind off of coronavirus and the overwhelming sensation of settling dread, if even for a moment.
We dare you not to feel soothed while watching artist Zaria Forman gently detail her landscape drawings of icebergs and glaciers. Working with deep, moody blues, Forman captures the fading beauty of the fragile infrastructure our planet holds through polar melt as she documents climate change in pastel. Her drawings explore “moments of transition, turbulence and tranquility” in the landscape, which provide a celestial introspection into our own temporal forms.
If Van Gogh ever visited America’s Natural parks, we could have only hoped he would have created landscape portraits as ethereal and moving as Erin Hanson. She’s at the forefront of a new painting style referred to as open-impressionism, influenced by revelatory time spend rock climbing at Red Rocks and across the American West. Hanson captures temporal, refracting light through a kaleidoscope of pure color, creating swirling landscapes that, if you let them, will transport you to another dimension where everything is weightless and made of pure light.
Two descriptors accurately sum up the general aesthetic of artist Sarah Madeirady’s Instagram account: calming taupes. The Maine-based artist creates just-abstracted-enough landscapes that maintain a delicate balance between gesture and precision. Scroll through her feed long enough, and you’ll find yourself getting lost in her coastal scenery.
This culture & design focused page quite literally transports you to another time and place through their carefully curated grid of sepia-hued snapshots. A curatorial dream, Slow Roads is an ever-expanding, multicultural collection of art, design and culture spanning the globe. If getting lost in romanticized history is your idea of meditation, you’ll find quite a release through this anthropological journey.
Not everyone has the opportunity to self-isolate in a Mediterranean paradise, but you can fool yourself into thinking that you’re a Greek god overlooking the Adriatic Sea thanks to Austin-based artist RF Alvarez. Get lost in the forms of ancient urns, voluptuous form and Matisse-like cut outs, with a spa-like color palette that will have you deep breathing without even trying.
Intuitive artist Lindsay King channels love energy through meditation, crystals, and various light working rituals that spill forth out of the ether and onto the page. Take solace in her Instagram stories where she delicately walks you through how she infuses her painting water with Lapis and other stones, or in images of her completed paintings that vibrate ethereally with pastel water pigmentation and gold leaf. You’ll definitely find the zen you’re searching for here.
Is there anything more mesmerizing than watching a time-lapse video of hyper-realistic illustrations blooming before your eyes? CJ Hendry rose to fame a number of years ago due to her labor intensive illustration style, a self-developed scribbling technique. While she may have been known before for her renderings of luxury items. Her latest works a more pensive, however, like her Rorschach series and a new limited release series of etched, all-white petals.
German artist Timo Helgert creates surreal 3D renderings of developed spaces in the process of being reclaimed by the natural world. While his moon phases animations are satisfying on their own, his truly mesmerizing works include fantasies like a full field in bloom inside the car of a defunct subway car and iconic Washington Street in DUMBO, with its signature view of the Brooklyn Bridge, overgrown with foliage. Take a trip to a future where nature reigns and the world can breathe again through his work.
Alright, this one’s not exactly an artist’s page – but trust us, this addicting account slaps. Surreal, meditative and just plain weird experimental videos from around the web are curated to provide hours worth of mind-boggling content. It’s the perfect escape if you want to really get things off your mind, because the features are so strangely enthralling you simply can’t look away.
If “Spiritual Desert Minimalism” is the vibe you’re going for during these unprecedented times, look no further than the satisfyingly surreal compositions of artist Petetia Le Fawnhawk. By juxtaposing stark black geometric forms on the curvaceous, ephemeral dunes of an ancient landscape, Le Fawnhawk disrupts linear time in the most delicious way. You’ll be on your own spiritual trek through a desert lost in time before you know it.
Feeling zen yet? There’s a lot more where that came from out there. Next time you’re feeling overwhelmed or blue, just remember that the artists of Instagram are there for you. Give them a follow, a like, a shoutout… just let ’em know you are. And don’t forget to breathe!