20 Years of Facebook: How Social Media has Impacted the Art World

February 4th marks 20 years since the juggernaut that is Facebook launched, changing the way the world interacts forever.

Since its introduction, Facebook and those that that fall under its umbrella, such as Instagram and Whatsapp, have become omnipresent in our lives, with billions of users visiting the platforms daily to communicate with each other, plan social lives, and even to keep abreast of the news.

While we all have our opinions on Zuckerberg, Facebook’s impact on popular culture is undeniable.

In today’s blog, as we reflect on 20 years of poking near strangers and hastily untagging ourselves in unflattering photographs, we’re looking at how social media has impacted the art world, and sparked the careers of some of Enter Gallery’s favourite artists…

But I Am art print by Magda Archer | Enter Gallery


Golden Opportunity

There’s no denying it – social media has completely revolutionised the art world, and made it a more inclusive place. Where once art and artists were confined to stuffy galleries and museums, social media platforms have cracked the scene right open, granting access to all art lovers and artists who care to participate, regardless of background or art world connections.

Nowadays, careers are formed off the back of Facebook and Instagram, with the apps helping curators and collectors to discover fresh and exciting talent among its many billions of users.

Long Distance Love by Haus Of Lucy | Enter Gallery


These platforms also serve as a global marketplace, allowing buyers to snap up work directly. According to a 2022 study focusing on the use of social media platforms for art-related purposes, roughly 74 percent of surveyed art buyers use Instagram to buy artist’s work.


Social Stars

We have a number of artists at Enter Gallery whose careers were given a major boost by the availability of social media.

Original artworks by Arron Crascall | Enter Gallery

Arron Crascall, for example, already possessed a mammoth following for his comedy videos, and when he launched his art page, collectors from around the world rushed to snap up his abstract pieces, leading to a sold out solo show at Enter Gallery in 2022.


Original and limited edition art by Charlotte Rose | Enter Gallery


Another enormous success story is Charlotte Rose, whose art attracted global attention on social media during the pandemic from megastars like Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Yungblud. Overnight, Rose’s art career took off, and she now has three successful solo shows under her belt including, Too Much of A Good Thing and The Shakespeare Tobacco Company, both of which were produced in conjunction with Enter Gallery.

Rodeo, 10th Edition art print by Babak Ganjei | Enter Gallery


Babak Ganjei’s work is a great example of the type of work that causes a stir online. His irreverent Film Idea series went viral, with such titles as ‘Chicken Nugget City’, ‘Kung-Fu Jesus’ and ‘Jurassic Shop’ appealing to social media users around the globe.


For the ‘Gram

Since Facebook and Instagram launched, popularity and status became based on followers and likes. For those seeking the perks that kind of notoriety can bring, life has become an endless search for photo opportunities….something the art world delivers in spades.


Souls of Millions of Light Years Away by Yayoi Kusama. Image c/o: Steven Medeinbauer.


Immersive art installations such as those from Yayoi Kusama have become big business, raising the profiles of artists and the museums that host them via perfect likeable photo fodder.

Not only do these visually-pleasing exhibitions draw in the crowds (and their money) but the museums also receive lots of free advertising as their exhibitions are plastered across social media.

While it’s easy to be cynical and dismiss these types of exhibitions as money-making exercises, in reality, they’re bringing the work of acclaimed artists (including those that are long dead), to an audience that may never have previously wanted to set foot in a museum, or to explore the world of art.

Image c/o: Van Gogh Alive


Putting Street Art on the Map

Speaking of photo ops…street art is another area that has benefitted enormously from social media and its location sharing functions. Where once, a mural may have amused only those that walked by, being able to share the location and using the right hashtags has helped street art to go viral, giving it the opportunity to reach a global audience.

Bradley Theodore is an example of an artist who rose to prominence after his street art went viral on social media. After taking a whole year away from the public eye to hone his craft, Theodore was finally ready to show his art to the world.

He painted a mural of Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld in New York and overnight it gained so much attention on social media that people started flocking to the site to get the perfect selfie. His career was born!


Street Art Legends

Of course, we can’t talk about street art without talking about some of its most notorious stars. The most infamous of whom seem to both love and loathe social media and the power it wields over us.

Obey aka Shepard Fairey is one artist whose work spread via word of mouth and social media, but whose entire oeuvre is based on the idea of who is really pulling the strings. We’re looking at you Zuckerberg!



There’s also no doubt that Banksy’s art wouldn’t have taken over the world in the way that it has without the power of the internet. In fact, word of new Banksy artworks spreads so fast via social media that the public response has become part of the art itself.

On the flip side, some of Banksy most powerful works (including Mobile Lovers, below) comment on the negatives of social media, and how it polarises and disconnects us.


As an artist who has always been critical of the traditional art world and its major players, it makes sense that Banksy has adopted Instagram as his platform. It remains a space where he can maintain his anonymity, while freely sharing his art with the world.


Curatable Content

We can’t write an article about social media without mentioning the negatives, of which there are many. In recent years, we’ve seen how Facebook and their buddies have mined our data, meddled in elections, spread fake news and more, all while promoting a culture of comparison that ranks our relevance and worth on the number of followers and ‘likes’ we receive from people we don’t even know.

While it’s impact on our lifestyle and mental health is immeasurable… it sure does spark some great art.

From the biting works of artists like Canada’s iHeart (pictured above) to pieces from the likes of Marcelina Amelia, whose work speaks to the introspection and culture of comparison that social media has instilled in us all – social media has inspired millions of masterpieces, and will likely inspire many more.


Framed I Only Want Everything by Marcelina Amelia | Enter Gallery