Have you noticed Los Angeles looking a lot more colorful these days? It could be the cleaner air from all this rain, or it could be the explosion of wall art and murals that have gone up all over the city in the last two years.
With tons of blank walls suddenly going from empty to art, you have to wonder if LA residents are suddenly into art appreciation, or is there something else at play? And by something else, I mean Instagram.
Do you know that there are 500 million Instagram users these days, and about 95 million pictures are posted every day? That’s a lot of eyes. Is it possible that the extraordinary growth of an app that illustrates life through pictures corresponding with all of this extremely photogenic public art is a coincidence? I think not.
Instagram has created a new generation of celebrities that use the pictures they post to promote brands, experiences, and themselves. It’s a brave new world for marketers, and in the land of # and @ you better find a way to stand out.
Where business all over the country once saw their exterior walls as simply structures to keep their buildings up, they are now the perfect marketing tool to draw millennials (and everyone else) to their store.
Instagram celebrities love posing stoically in front of a beautiful walls, and Los Angeles businesses are more than happy to oblige. Instagrammers then geo tag themselves at that location, or even plug it in the caption, and a beautiful marketing partnership is born.
Local artists also get incredible exposure, although more often than not they are not credited with the work on social media. It seems, however, that most of these artists are aware of the motivation behind the sudden interest in wall art. The aptly named @mostfamousartist, seems to perfectly sum up this trend with his creation of Venice’s “selfie wall.”
So does marketing disguised as street art somehow cheapen the art? Do you see it as less sincere, less serious? And more importantly, with all of this art adding much needed culture and color to so many neighborhoods in Los Angeles, does it really matter?
Images via: @studiodiy | @walltraveled | @venicepaparazzi