Digital art is a rather difficult medium to define. NFTs are easy to label but other objects—such as prints of images created with digital tools or Koonsian figurines, which often necessitate 3D rendering processes —often defy categorization.
Even so, more and more artists are beginning to label themselves as digital creatives and their work, if not themselves, as digital art. Many of the most prolific and thoughtful digital artists have backgrounds in industries outside of the fine art world such as animation or advertisement. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, they tend to be much more visible on social media than a great deal of fine artists. Here are seven digital artists you should be following on Instagram.
Alex McLeod could easily be considered a master of digital manipulation. McLeod has called himself “an artist concerned with simulation and the transition of matter.” With a background in advertising and communications, the artist is probably best-known for 3D environments which are simultaneously fantastical and populated with hyper-realistic detail.
Anonymous Georgian artist BIIMO also works across a variety of media but all of his work has a rebellious, street art feel and the artist’s NFT pills are particularly remarkable. Currently featured in Art Up Street Gallery’s first AR exhibition, a solo show entitled NFT PILLS, the artist presents work that simultaneously captures the beauty of a physical art object and the sublimity of this suddenly popular digital art form.
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The Italian artist’s work is comprised of a fabulous mashup of the elite art historical world and the most seemingly banal aspects of modern pop culture. Battaglini's process "starts with a digital image that is transferred to canvas using high-quality inks, generally followed by airbrushing and acrylics." Unsurprisingly, the artist is deeply knowledgeable about art styles, processes, and theories.
The artist's current auction record currently sits at five figures and she featured in the 2009 Venice Biennale and the 2013 Lyon Biennale. The successful Cortright has roots in webcam performance art, but, due to copyright claims, she eventually pivoted to the production of tangible art objects. Still, the artist's process remains deeply digital and performative. For example, Cortright often starts by creating a piece of digital artwork that she refers to as the “mother file.” Then, she creates a multitude of physical artworks via various printmaking techniques processes onto a variety of substrates. Readers can find more details about her approach to art-making across the internet but it is clear that Cortright considers the process to be a key part of the artwork itself.
Pomara works with digital manipulations and glitches. In a conversation with executive director of Dallas Contemporary Peter Doroshenko, Pomara defined glitches as “the visual manifestation of an error caused by various factors through the use of technology. Computers, printers, etc.” Though Pomara works with multiple mediums, his work with digital processes is about chance and is a sort of homage to Duchamp, Arp, and the Dadaists at large, who pursued and intentionally created room for chance in their artwork.
FriendsWithYou is an art collaboration between Samuel Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III. The group creates sculptures, figurines, NFTs, and more—with the self-expressed intention to, “bring more joy, kindness, and love to the world.” The artists have also stated that their collaborative project is “a vehicle for the exploration of emotional healing through culture creation and art making.”
Jeremy Bailey takes a deeply intellectual yet hilarious approach to digital art-making. A self-proclaimed ‘Famous New Media Artist,’ Bailey has shown his work across the world—from Panke.Gallery in Berlin to NYC’s New Museum—in group and solo exhibitions. The artist keeps one foot in the fine art world and the other in a more commercial sector, with social media content and a Shopify page filled with ‘merch.’ Like Petra Cortright, the artist’s process and habits seem to be part of the art—an integral piece of the overall message.