5 Politically Fueled Artists on Instagram You Need to Follow
With the rollercoaster that is our present political and social climate, creative expression is an essential and effective medium for spreading awareness and expressing some seriously heightened frustrations. The intersection of artistry and social media is where messages can be communicated and shared with ease. We’ve curated a list of the dopest artists on IG, who are constantly creating, and even more so, putting political meaning behind their work. Needless to say, the below accounts deserve a hard follow.
#workinglife – video I've created with #michellepdodson @michellepdodson that celebrates some of our favorite and influential women on view now @akronartmuseum 💖💖💖 #yarnpeople created with #redheartyarn @redheartyarns ❤️❤️❤️ Image from the amazing opening reception of 10 years of #Hifructose #turnthepage #turnthepageakron #olek #performanceart #crochet #yarnfamily #camouflage #szydełkowanie pic Courtesy #AkronArtMuseum, Photography by #ShaneWynn 💜💜💜#loveacrosstheusa 💞
First up is New York City-based artist Olek. She’s best known for her shockingly intricate crocheted installations—many of which weave (in the most literal sense of the word) sociopolitical themes throughout. Think colorful crocheted bicycles, cars, statues—you name it. Her Instagram is equal parts art, travel, and the celebration of women (AKA, all things we can get behind).
Today is #InternationalWomensDay which was officially adopted in 1975 by the United Nations, but celebrated by countries long before. Supporting women falls in line with my philosophy that everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. The fact that we have to single out days to celebrate people who have not always been given the equal treatment they deserve is a reminder to be vigilante about the concept of Universal Personhood. The theme of this art series, Universal Personhood, is to promote #peace, #equality, and #humanity. Everyone’s status is equal and everyone’s life counts the same amount. If you can’t participate in the walk-outs or rallies in your city, I hope that you’re proudly wearing red as a sign of solidarity with women everywhere. Keep fighting for justice. – Shepard From the Archives: #ShepardFairey Universal Personhood 2, 2015 Mixed Media Painting (Acrylic, Stencil, Silkscreen, and Collage) on Canvas 44 x 60 inches
Shepard Fairey, also known as @obeygiant, is a jack of all trades. His resume includes street artist, activist, skateboarder, founder of OBEY Clothing…the list goes on. For over a decade, he’s been a major supporter and contributor to foundations like the ACLU, Feeding America, and Planned Parenthood. His bread and butter is the creation of captivating posters (see above) that spread messages of equality and empowerment. His most famous work? Arguably the now-iconic HOPE posters from President Obama‘s 2008 presidential campaign (cue the tears).
New York-based artist, photographer, and feminist Petra Collins uses her photography and artwork as a means to empower and support women. She’s shot for brands like Calvin Klein and Adidas—and her work’s been featured in all the major fashion publications. Her IG account is a montage of dreamy images and soft colors, but more importantly, it’s an inclusive space that’s representative of all women, in all shapes and sizes.
Devin Troy Strother’s work is a staunch critique on society as it relates to race and identity. His mixed medium paintings have a heavy street art flavor, featuring cartoonish figures and bright colors intricately mixed together. His IG account is a display of artwork so bold and personal that it inherently forces the viewer to study and ask questions.
Hank Willis Thomas is a visual artist whose work focuses on contemporary racial identity in correlation with African American history. His installation, titled “Blind Memory”, is currently on display in Savannah, Georgia, which critiques America’s agricultural past—rooted in slavery—in the context of the country’s advancement in trade and wealth.
Featured image via Petra Collins
Stay tuned to Milk for more ‘gram-worthy goodies.