If @whitneymuseum Follows You, Are You an Artist?
March 06, 2017
This year, the Whitney Museum holds its first Biennial in its downtown space, and perhaps more noticeable than the ingenious Renzo Piano building—designed with the art-going experience in mind, its footprint runs east to west with floor-to-ceiling windows inviting in light, shapely but open floor plans, commissaries—is the reenergized mission given our times: showcase American art.
The mandate might’ve felt stuck in the past, as the Guggenheim and Modern and Met rushed toward the excitement of different eras. Nationalism seemed a restrictive business plan, but here we are, in a year when the MoMA responded to Trump’s immigration ban by replacing works by Matisse, Picasso and Picabia among others with works by seven artists from the majority-Muslim nations named in the E.O. All the works were quietly hung by the gallery’s curators overnight, without a single tweet or Instagram post from the Museum to promote the change.
You could argue the Whitney’s been on that beat since day one, asking us what it means to be American. With our National Endowment for the Arts under attack, it’s a more important question than ever. All of which is to say: shouldn’t we be thinking critically about, well, everything?
So here’s a small but meaningful (maybe?) thing to consider: who the Whitney follows on Instagram. Is it an indicator of who has a seat at their conversational table? Is it friends of The Whitney’s Sarah Meller who runs the account and who joined the museum as a research assistant seven years ago? One thing we know: as the museum’s geared up for its Biennial over the last month, that list hasn’t really changed.
#whitneybiennial #armoryweek #museumpeople #artworldspaces #instaart #publicart #instamuseum #artwatchers_united
Andrew Kuo, a New York artist, is known and collected—lucratively—for his graphs and charts that shed light into his young life. Earl Boykins, his alter ego, is known and followed for his love of cute animals, “whats…happening here” moments like a massive motorcycle tucked into a hotel bed, and weird plants. He visited the museum’s Carmen Herrera works in January.
One of the great photojournalists of the last decade is Pete Souza, the official White House photographer who gifted us with an incredible and unprecedented glimpse into a presidential administration. His personal Instagram from that time—@petesouza44, numbered for his President—is archived, just as @obamawhitehouse is a timecapsule, too.
Job: Archive of the Obama Administration
The Whitney’s watching how the Internet, and instant commerce, forges a new conversation around art. Willa Köerner, whose Instagram bio reminds us, wonderfully, of 2004-era AOL Instant Messenger profiles (💎 ➖🔸▫️♦️🌾 art/writing/internet ♦🌗🔘🔹🔺➖ 〰〰〰 director of curation @kickstarter 〰〰〰 ) makes decisions on what, according to the crowdfunding platform, is art.
Job: Kickstarter’s Director of Curation
Three days ago, the Met’s Director and CEO resigned reportedly under pressure from the board, following a slacking financial record despite all-time-high attendance. He’ll stay in his role until June of this year, says the NYT. To contextualize the news, we suggest reading his recent op-ed about the challenges the National Endowment for the Arts is facing. But don’t forget the comments section, where the conversation between opposing views really takes shape.
Job: Former Director and CEO of @metmuseum
Author, critic, writer, essayist, thought guide—Hilton Als mostly calls The New Yorker home, but our favorite words of his recently are on the walls at David Zwirner. He’s curated the gallery’s show of Alice Neel, a New York artist celebrated for celebrating Harlem, most specifically its mixed section called Spanish Harlem. His writing is so inviting, so fun, so human, that even if his sentimental essays weren’t on the walls, it would stand out all the more in the gallery world where any writing is usually just a stack of press releases.
Job: Museum Shop in Manhattan
Job: Gallery and alt-art space in Chelsea
Job: Gallery Family in UK
Job: Museum in Atlanta
Job: Gallery in Brooklyn
Job: Morning News Show
Job: Drawing Museum
Job: Museum on Lower East Side
Job: Interior Design Enthusiast
Job: Architecture Publication
Job: Museum and Sculpture Garden
Job: Restaurants at the Whitney
Job: Director of MoMA PS1 & Chief Curator at Large
Job: Executive Vice President Fitz and Co
Job: Time Magazine
Job: Not for Profit Arts Center
Job: Architecture Publication
Job: Wall Street Journal Newspaper
Job: Anonymous Museum Visitor
Job: NYC Mansion Housing Western Fine Art Collection
Job: Public Art Fund
Job: Brooklyn Academy of Music
Job: Architect in Brooklyn
Job: Bushwick-based Freelance Multimedia Producer
Job: Chief Curator of Media and Performance Art at MoMA
Job: The Shop, selling products that celebrate The Broad’s architecture + collection
Job: Curator, Whitney Biennial 2017
Job: Museum Professional
Job: Whitney Museum Guard
Job: The Museum of Contemporary Art, LA
Job: Community Team, Art and Fashion Lead at Instagram
Job: Center for Video, Music, Dance, Performance, Film and Literature
Job: MoMa PS1
Job: The Guggenheim Museum Balbao
Job: Photographic Cooperative
Job: Nasher Sculpture Center
Job: The Official White House Instagram
Job: Museum of Arts & Design
Job: The New York Times
A playful one-of-a-kind artifact—keychains of the Whitney’s trash colorfully cast in resin by critic-favorite Brooklyn artists Chen Chen and Kai Williams.