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If you think Instagram isn't real art, think again.
From London to Singapore, exhibits are curating photos exclusively from Instagram, and featuring the artists behind the accounts just like they would any photographer or artist.
At a recent show in Singapore, dubbed the "K+ Instagram Exhibition," 13 Instagram users had recent posts enlarged, printed on canvasses and priced to sell to anyone who wanted to pay for them. At the show, Instagram posts were available for purchase for $67 or $102 with frames.
Those featured weren't necessarily chosen based on the size of their online following, but were selected as "up and coming" Instagrammers. In fact, the artists ranged from having just 300 followers to more than 115,000.
Combined, the artists commanded more than half a million followers.
"We wanted to highlight the social aspect that a digital platform like Instagram brings to the art world," Carolyn Teo, founder of Kinetic Singapore and K+ Curatorial Space, told CNBC in a recent interview.
Inside the exhibit walls, large replicas of each user's actual account were displayed prominently, including profile avatars, number of followers, number they're following and their profile description.
The organizers focused on Instagram users, as opposed to just photographers, in order to capture the complete process with which photos are being consumed, captioned and engaged.
The fad may become more of a trend, some say, as selfie and food obsessed users use their mobile devices to capture random moments in their lives and immortalize them on social media. Last year, one painter created a stir after he enlarged screenshots of other people's Instagram posts, and reportedly sold them at a New York exhibit for tens of thousands of dollars.
The number of smartphone users worldwide is expected to surpass 2 billion this year, according to eMarketer. At least a quarter of those users are logging onto Instagram at least once a month, with the Facebook-owned photo sharing platform recently announcing it had surpassed more than 500 million active users.
As more photographers share content, the profile of the creators — and their artistic credibility — gets a commensurate boost.
"Anyone can take photos and share them online. It's led some to become a little dismissive of photographers and works on platforms like Instagram," Teo said.
"We want to challenge such perceptions — that a photograph cannot be art simply because it's on a 'mass' medium rather than a rarefied one, or that only professional photographers can produce images worthy to be labeled art," she added.
While there are no immediate plans to incorporate Instagram in future shows at the Singapore gallery, the organizers said they were pleased with the show.
"Instagram is blurring the boundaries between 'professional' and 'amateur' art and we're excited to see how Instagram users evolve," Teo said.