Art & Design
Instagram: A gateway to London Artists
From the political artworks of Ai Weiwei, to the forever bold and provocative Banksy, Instagram has become an artistic holy grail for must-follow finds. Below, we look at five pioneering artists that call London their stomping ground.
The vibrant work of North London artist Joe Cruz grabs your attention at first glance. A graduate from Norwich School of Art, Cruz returned to the city to create art of eye-popping colour. Working with chalk pastels, he draws on unusual surfaces such as found photographs, fashion editorials and jazz records.
He’s most known for adding random bursts of colour to vintage photos, admitting that “[my] creative choices [are] based on feelings and inspirations in that moment”. Having collaborated with the likes of Whistles, Penguin and Stussy, Cruz is one to follow if you love playful pieces inspired by pop art.
Commissioned to create a new architectural intervention for the Greenwich Peninsula, The Optic Clock, Conrad Shawcross uses the captivating Moiré effect – overlaying panels to create a surface that seems to be constantly changing.
Learning how to pull apart and put back together car engines as a student, his sculptures are usually created through metalwork and welding in his studio in Clapton, East London – once upon a time a stable for tram-pulling horses.
Shawcross’s Instagram is just as pioneering: filled with images of his geometric artworks influenced by philosophy, maths and science, this account is a must follow if you share a love of sculpture inspired by nature.
Danny Fox’s account is a strange mix of Picasso’s modernism and Basquiat’s abstraction. The London based artist – who never went to art school – is known for his ‘paint first, ask questions later’ approach, bringing a certain mischievousness to his work. He often paints over and over a piece until it’s “thick and solid”.
His paintings switch between inspiration from (sometimes painful) personal experiences, to simply exploring the things he loves: drinking, film and TV. Fox’s account is must-visit if you love a maverick. His abstract style puts child-like figurines in surreal surroundings.
Julie Cockburn’s Instagram is a whimsical collection of artworks. Working with vintage photographs, Cockburn hand-embroiders each piece (taught as a young girl by her Grandmother), concealing faces and decorating heads using pastel coloured thread in rainbow designs. Many of her pieces start with found studio portraits that turn into eerie versions of their old selves.
Based in London and trained at both the Chelsea College of Art and Central St Martins College of Art and Design, this account is an essential follow for its beautiful presentation of the old and the new colliding through its dreamy appearance.
London based visual artist Adeline de Monseignat graduated with an MA in Fine Art at the City and Guilds of London Art School. Exploring the world of the uncanny (objects that are strangely familiar), she creates ‘creaptures’ – a hybrid of creature and sculpture – from glass and fur. Lonely Loleta shows a ball of vintage fur that contains a hidden motor, making it gently pulsate as if it breathes, giving the piece a strange and animalistic quality.
Her account is filled with similar pieces, dotted amongst images by Picasso and Godard, and intercut with stills from her art film ‘In the Flesh’. Like this, if you love black and white photography.
The number of innovative London-based artists on Instagram is always growing, each exploring new ways to create incredible pieces that leave us in awe. Do you know more pioneering artists with Instagram profiles that leave you scrolling for hours? Spread the word @ThePeninsulist. We’re on Twitter and Instagram.