It’s possible that, today, the fine details of the jet-setting art scene have never been so thoroughly documented, dissected, discussed and devoured. And, no, it’s not a Sarah Thornton book that’s doing all the dirty work. I’m talking about Instagram, the ubiquitous network loved the world over that—finally, fully, this year—dealers and artists and collectors and multiplying hangers-on embraced to tell the tale that is the global art scene in 2014.
Which means, basically, everyone was busy curating their airtight personal brands, tweaking filters and lighting to get the most likes, beaming out to their followers snaps from fairs and biennials the world over. And that’s certainly irritating, if not a sign of the apocalypse, but I mean, this photo app thing has some upsides. We can’t be in Los Angeles and Paris and Athens and Istanbul and Brooklyn at the same time, so we look to Instagram to keep us posted. And the tide is rising: Whether it’s performance art in Basel made with selfies in mind, or a Jeff Koons retrospective that asks for snaps of our reflection in Balloon Dog, or a self-aware panel with the founder of the format in Miami, Instagram was king. Here’s the art world in 2014 according to Instagram.