What if, as you scroll between two pictures of buff influencers you could discover some of the most promising talents of the Swedish art scene? That's the challenge launched by photographer Gustav Almestål and creative director Hedvig Myhrman with S.Y.L.A. This digital initiative consists of a series of public auctions organized directly on Instagram, to reach a wider and less conventional audience.
Until next February, art lovers will be able to go on Instagram to discover and bid on works by Yngvild Saeter, Truls Mårtensson, Dina Isæus-Berlin, Kim Björnson, Frida Lundén Mörck and Simon Klenell. These unique pieces span the realms of ceramic sculpture, painting, watercolor and textile creation.
Despite the great diversity in materials, the works being auctioned tackle complementary themes related to cultural heritage or climate change. Linnéa Gad's works, for instance, focus on geological changes aimed at encouraging us to respect our natural resources. These creations are to be auctioned off between January 18 and 21 on the Instagram account of S.Y.L.A ("Support Your Local Artist").
To take part in this new type of auctions, potential buyers can consult available works on the S.Y.L.A. website. If they want to bid, they can submit their offer in euros by direct message on Instagram. One hour before the end of the auction, interested collectors will join a thread launched by S.Y.L.A. on the social network. They have until 9pm GMT to place their bids. The highest bid will win the auction and will be made known at 9pm. Note that all profits from these sales will go entirely to the artists as S.Y.L.A. is working pro bono on this initiative.
"S.Y.L.A is a group of enthusiastic freelancers who want to challenge and investigate whether the art world is ready for another digital change? We want to give more people the opportunity to become an art buyer, at home from their sofa. And kill the myth that online art is just standardized prints," said the initiator Gustav Almestål, in a press release.
While more artists turn to Instagram to meet new potential buyers, the social network struggles to become a respected art platform. It may be because selling and buying online has not yet entered the collector's habits. For instance, a recent Arts Economics and Crozier Fine Arts report had shown that only 11% of New York art collectors had made a transaction online during the past twelve months, despite the pandemic.