Meet The Social Media Star Whose Taste The Art World Follows

Kimberly Drew uses Instagram to make contemporary art a little less opaque.

Photographer Shaniqwa Jarvis
April 18, 2016
Meet The Social Media Star Whose Taste The Art World Follows

Kimberly Drew, 25
Associate Online Community Producer for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Founder of the Black Contemporary Art Tumblr, @museummammy

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KIMBERLY DREW: When I started my blog, Black Contemporary Art, I just wanted something like it to exist. I would search and find links to books or art criticism websites, but I didn’t find anything that looked like a site for black artists. I didn’t want a revisionist look at the history of black art; I wanted to center on the artists who I thought should be online. In the beginning, I would mill through museum websites and find black artists and search Tumblr to see if their names were there. And if their name wasn’t there, I would write a post for them so that they were a part of a recorded history. Being a 20-year-old at the time, I was like, “If it’s not on Tumblr, it doesn’t matter yet.”

I didn’t really have a long-term plan, but I did it so consistently that people began to follow. Now, I’ve been able to inadvertently position myself as a friend to the artist. I like that I can have a different connection with an artist than someone like a critic or a traditional curator would. If a curator does a studio visit, there’s always this immediate end goal that the artist might end up in a collection or an exhibition. With me, it’s more casual. I can get to know artists as people, then get to know their artwork without an agenda. I always push back on the word “curator” because even though I make decisions about the things that I post on the blog and on social media, it’s more of a broadcasting than a conventional curation process.

Meet The Social Media Star Whose Taste The Art World Follows

On Instagram, I like to post in the moment. That’s a deliberate thing. I go to a lot of Instagram meet-ups and I meet with a lot of Instagrammers in general. I’ve totally been drinking the Kool-Aid on that lifestyle. I want to be able to share the art that I’m looking at and show the fullness of what it means to work in the arts. I want to open the door. I want people to know that these are the shows going on that you could go see. I want to present the possibility of being in those spaces, whether or not that means my followers physically go to an opening. I wake up on Sunday mornings and post three things before I get out of bed because I’m looking at images that I find to be compelling. I want people to use my posts as prompts to find the things that they think are interesting, and I want to give as many avenues into the work that I’m doing as possible. I want to pass as many batons as I can.

Meet The Social Media Star Whose Taste The Art World Follows




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Pre-order Kimberly Drew’s issue of The FADER, our annual Producers Issue, before it hits newsstands on May 10, 2016.
Meet The Social Media Star Whose Taste The Art World Follows