Has Instagram’s new algorithm been getting you down? Genuine content seems hard to come by these days, as advertisements and faux-influencers increasingly monopolize the feed, obscuring the photos that pertain to your true interests. But, fear not. It isn’t too late to prevent Instagram from muddling your perception of authenticity!
The app has the potential to be much more than a hollow, mindless time-suck. However, it requires a trained eye to see past the shallow end of the Instagram pool and into the deeper, richer content. The following 25 Dallas-based accounts are proving that the app is not just a means for social networking, but a tool to explore and take back one’s creativity. Instagram is, at its core, a means of self-curation, and can therefore be used as a powerful medium for creative endeavors. Through these accounts, you might find yourself transported to an alternate universe, inspired by a certain light or uplifted by innovation.
This multimedia artist combines her own whimsical work with the tidbits of a rich day-to-day. Each photo is faded in someway, evoking something bygone and begging to be viewed up close. Her style suggests that there’s more to a color, sentence or sentiment than what meets the eye.
Artist Kat Freedman’s page showcases traditional tattoos, calligraphy and enamel pins, all of her design. She also creates signs for businesses around the city. Familiarize yourself with her work — you might spot one of her pieces next time you’re out and about.
Performance artist Hilly Holsonback’s page is one that feels distant from Instagram itself. As “Your Real Personal Influencer,” Holsonback’s subject is none other than herself. Her character echoes that of a post-naughties Cindy Sherman, and reflects on the absurdities of the “influencer” title by way of a girl named “Tan,” who lives her life trapped inside the screen (and herself?).
Photographer Anayancy Gonzalez’s page feels like dipping into a swimming pool of neon and glitter. Her work — which floats between Los Angeles and Dallas — is often fixed in suburban and city scenes, and her subjects are often portrayed in something of a Petra Collins-esque feminine mysticism.
Visual artist John Joseph Pomara draws from linear shapes like system-glitches to create nonlinear work, most of which is showcased on his amalgamous Instagram page. In addition to his own art, he also shares things that inspire him, such as other local artwork and his adorable family.
Singer and actress Rat Rios’ Instagram teems with two of the things on planet Earth that most immediately breed happiness: color and cats. In addition to sharing neat, geometric photos, Rat Rios has also taken to posting artful portraits of foster kittens in need of furrever homes.
Dallas-based sculpture artist Sergio Garcia’s work has stretched beyond the Lone Star State and into the homes of celebrities such as Seth Rogen and Miley Cyrus. Some of his works could be described as extreme extremities; the lifelike hands and arms he crafts often reach out into the air so as to mesmerize — or perhaps entreat — the viewer.
Filmmaker Rob Martinez’s page serves as a look into what’s happening in one of the many pockets of local Dallas cinema. His photos showcase his work and life behind the scenes in a dark blue, orange and low-light way that feels just like Texas — at least its artsy side.
Multimedia artist Dan Lam’s page is a burst of color, shape and slime-like sculptures. Although mesmerizing, the downfall of this page is that the desire to reach out and touch each piece will never be fulfilled.
If you’ve recently been to see Leon Bridges, you might recognize visual artist Matt Cliff’s work, as one of his pieces traveled around with the performer this year as a backdrop to each stage. His work, much like Bridges’, is both nostalgic and full of Southern charm.
Visual artist and photographer Jeremy Biggers’ signature is lips, portrayed in large scale. But he also has plenty of portraits of culturally significant figures. Often in vibrant color, the paintings mimic the same sharp style of his digital portraits.
The subjects of choice for photographer Grace Sydney Pham are miniatures, often taking on some surreal form. With bright use of color and a keen eye for a good absurd take, the artist’s page is inviting to even the most unassuming Instagrammer.
Artist Mindy Byrd combines her own photography and collaging skills to create a page full of color, shapes and texture. Photos often feature her professional design work, although occasionally a throwback image will be tossed into the mix, showing a glimpse into her own personal past.
Feminine energy abounds on @i.other's page. The artist’s work primarily features the female form in dissection. With a Barbara Kruger-esque use of mixed media, collage and words, the artist invites the viewer to analyze what’s being put in front of them, rather than scrolling right past.
This page is an assortment of observations. Often without captions, the photos are less about subjects and more about the way an item or person catches a shadow, or the way a shadow creates a line. And they’re all in locations around the city of Dallas.
Painter and printmaker Brent Ozaeta showcases his art prolifically on his Instagram. His paintings are an impressive, intricate mix of pop art and animation, and can additionally be found frequently in art shows around DFW.
21-year-old artist Jacqueline Blanco uses her Instagram to feature an array of collages and paintings. Her portraits feature female figures with heads of a psychedelic, gem-like quality, accompanied by occasionally explicit wording. In a caption, she quotes that she wants her audience to “interact” with and “feel uncomfortable toward” when viewing each piece.
Exploredinary is a creative powerhouse, the collaborative efforts of local artist/filmmaker couple extraordinaire Daniel Driensky and Sarah Reyes. The team is prolific around the world; a look into their Instagram doubles as an insight into cultural happenings about town and in cities like Paris or Los Angeles.
Artist Alex Revier’s page is a collection of day-to-day moments and saturated color collages. Often featured on his page are works that feel tangential, and distinctly inclined to a honed sense of visual style.
Napkin Art Studios has been printing neat posters for artists and events around and beyond Dallas since 2004. This page is a look into what they’ve got cooking and what’s been made. The style draws from pop-art and familiar faces of the past.
Visual artist Arturo Torres gained national acclaim in 2015 with his book in collaboration with Shea Serrano, The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed. His Instagram page often features pop-culture figures in retrospect.
Photographer Roger Gallegos’ photos range from collaborations with local artists to details of ever-changing East Dallas. His lens on Dallas is refreshingly honest and beautiful in a way that is seldom seen on camera.
@thenoiz / @fshn.chps
Photographer Jonathan Stafford bounces between digital and analog film on his two Instagram pages. Often experimenting with different styles of imagery, Stafford uses his page to highlight a variety of places and people around North Texas.