Painter Gina Beavers produces fine art from the millions of pictures of Instagram

We can expect to see Gina’s work soon at Frieze London in October 2021, and an upcoming show at the Neuer-Essener-Kunstverein in Germany also in autumn.
The paintings of phone camera food pictures, in particular, stand out and ring back to the early days of Instagram. “It’s less of a viral thing today, but they were once super popular,” she says. They evoke a strange retrospective of something not yet far enough in the past to be nostalgic, but something patently forgotten in the current cultural zeitgeist. “I still make food paintings, the hashtag #foodporn is still raging globally, it may be less edgy than it once was but there are 264 million pics there,” she adds. Evidently, Gina mines culture for images, but it’s not all an external process. “Often though the images I select and work from end up reflecting some aspect of myself,” she adds. “I think that’s an aspect of images online, they’re often about the self and the group at the same time.”
Her large pieces are created with “a layer of foam first, and then an acrylic layer over that,” she tells us. Interestingly, with her smaller works, Gina builds the acrylic in layers “so that they have dimension, but they are all paint,” she adds. Her series where she paints different famous works by Rothko and Georgia O’Keefe on her lips is one of these smaller works, and have become wildly popular on Instagram – the very platform these paintings once drew from in the first instance. It brings Gina’s mission back to a full circle, taking the very images that people once found worthy to share as an aspect of themselves, making them into fine art, and watching as people then continue to find themselves in those reflections.

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