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Art 101

10 Artists Who Make Tweeting an Art Form

By

10 Artists Who Make Tweeting an Art Form
Richard Phillips's Twitter page

“ONE NIGHT STAND FOREVER” might seem like an enigmatic tweet until you realize who put it on Twitter in the first place: Ed Ruscha. Between 2009 and 2010, the famed Los Angeles tweeted his paintings’ ironic one-liners from @edruscha, a Twitter page with a biography that simply read “toohotfortheinternet.com.” Ruscha has not been active on Twitter since 2010, but his epigrammatic torch has been picked up by scores of other famous artists who use the social-media service with delicious verve. Here are 10 we think you should follow on Twitter.

RICHARD PRINCE

HANDLE: @RichardPrince4
KNOWN FOR: Being an avid collector of imagery from American subcultures. Prince’s most famous works involve cowboys or nurses as explorations of how mass-cultural materials (ads, pulp fiction, etc.) shape sexism and other social biases.
TWITTER STYLE: As an appropriation artist, it would only make sense that Prince mostly tweets images, usually of his work mid-process. If you ever wanted to know how a Nurse painting comes together, his Twitter feed is particularly insightful source.
TWEETS AT: Artists such as Kim Gordon and Enoc Perez. Occasionally, Prince tweets at himself.

RAYMOND PETTIBON

HANDLE: @RaymondPettibon
KNOWN FOR: Sketchy, politically freighted black-and-white drawings. Pettibon is also tied to the punk-rock music scene, and has designed the logos for Sonic Youth and Black Flag.
TWITTER STYLE: Enigmatic. Many of Pettibon’s tweets are nearly indecipherable, rife with deliberate spelling errors and references to pop culture.
TWEETS AT: His fans, Newt Gingrich, the Huffington Post.

YOKO ONO

HANDLE: @yokoono
KNOWN FOR: The Fluxus artist uses performance to explore the potential for humans to achieve world peace. More recently, Ono became an accidental YouTube star when a fan edited a performance in which she screamed for three minutes to an instrumental cover of Katy Perry’s “Firework.”
TWITTER STYLE: Politically active. Even Ono’s Twitter biography, which reads, “IMAGINE PEACE: Think PEACE, Act PEACE, Spread PEACE,” speaks to the way Ono tweets for humanitarian purposes.
TWEETS AT:Supercurator Klaus Biesenbach.

RYAN TRECARTIN

HANDLE: @RyanTrecartin
KNOWN FOR: Trecartin’s aggressive video art deals with life in the age of digital technology. In his wildly colorful and heavily computer-edited videos, Trecartin and his actors take on a panoply of guises, at times switching gender in the process.
TWITTER STYLE: Trecartin’s Twitter handle might be the only normal thing about his Twitter. His profile picture is a suitcase, his biography is simply “&,” and his background is an image of the packaging for Vitamin C packets.
TWEETS AT:New Museum curator Lauren Cornell.

RICHARD PHILLIPS

HANDLE: @RichardPhillips
KNOWN FOR: His detailed portraits based on pornography and celebrity culture, and, most recently, a sculpture of the Playboy bunny in Marfa, Texas.
TWITTER STYLE: Phillips insists that his paintings are neither cynical nor ironic, and his Twitter shows the artist’s earnest side. Phillips tweets out articles about artists he likes and lets his followers into his studio process with pictures of his works in progress.
RETWEETS: Porn star Sasha Grey, Richard Prince.

HANK WILLIS THOMAS

HANDLE: @hankwthomas
KNOWN FOR: His controversial, often difficult work about race and identity.
TWITTER STYLE: Thomas’ Twitter keeps his fans comprehensively up to date with his activities, relaying what he is working on, where his work is being shown, and he even links to articles that mention him or his work.
TWEETS AT: His fans

JAYSON MUSSON

HANDLE: @therealhennessy
KNOWN FOR: Taking on the persona of Hennessy Youngman, a hip-hop-inflected, gold-chain-wearing fan of institutional critique and performance art, in his Art Thoughtz video series.
TWITTER STYLE: He claims to be a “ragamuffin” in his Twitter bio, but in actuality, Musson is a successful artist whose abstract paintings have become extremely popular (and expensive). His wry sense of humor shines through each tweet, which seems to be done in the voice of Hennessy, also demonstrates the artist's ironic tendencies.
TWEETS AT: His friends, his fans 

PUSSY RIOT

HANDLE: @pussy_riot
KNOWN FOR: The ski-masked Russian collective—which gained internationally renown when three of its members received brutal prison sentences for an anti-Putin performance in a Moscow church—is made up of 11 women who make punk music about gender inequality, LGBT rights, and politics.
TWITTER STYLE: The collective’s Twitter includes the most up-to-date information about their continuing exploits. Followers can frequently expect tweets in Russian that tell one when one of the collective’s members has been arrested.
RETWEETS: Links to their music 

OLAFUR ELÍASSON

HANDLE: @olafureliasson
KNOWN FOR: Phenomenological installations that probe viewers’ perception of the world.
TWITTER STYLE: Like Elíasson's work, his studio’s Twitter can often get pretty esoteric (in just under 140 characters, no less). Some of the studio’s tweets are as abstract and philosophical as Elíasson fans could hope. Other tweets are more practically informative, with links to articles about Elíasson’s work and details about upcoming exhibitions.
TWEETS AT: Hans Ulrich Obrist, art blogs 

DEBORAH KASS

HANDLE: @deborahkass
KNOWN FOR: Appropriating other artist’s styles to make feminist statements.
TWITTER STYLE: Though she claims to not be good at Twitter (in a tweet, no less), the appropriation artist is certainly a bold, if infrequent tweeter. Her riffs on politics are also about as blunt as could be. On April 18, Kass tweeted variations of “SHAME ON YOU!” at over 40 politicians whom she believed were improperly doing their job.
TWEETS AT: Photographer Marilyn Minter, Republican senators

To follow all of these artists on Twitter, click here—and follow Artspace at @artspace.

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