how to become a collector of emerging artists, with @love.watts

Jordan Watson is teaming up with the young artists behind Instagram's most beautiful images.

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Nov 16 2018, 4:58pm

You might not know Jordan Watson by name, but you’ve definitely seen his Instagram feed, if not spent hours scrolling through it. Watson is the mastermind behind @love.watts — a virtual art gallery, and, quite possibly, the most beautiful Instagram account in the world. A sampling of the eccentric, ever-expanding collection: a resplendent Paloma Elsesser as portrayed by Chloe Wise, Balenciaga Triple-S sneakers rendered in ceramic by Diana Rojas, a surrealist balloon-filled skyscraper by photoshop wizard @rek0de, and loads more visual ASMR by established and emerging artists. With 1.7M followers on this account alone (Jordan’s online empire consists of six accounts), a post on his biggest page is a BFD for artists overlooked by the traditional gallery world. Now he’s making things equally great for the budding collector. Jordan’s latest account @love.watts.project lets fans buy prints from his favorite artists all over the world. Each one is authenticated and only $45.

“Technology and social media has been the best way to find things that traditional art channels don't focus on,” Jordan explained to i-D. “So much of the art world is based on these traditional channels which don't often provide platforms to emerging or underprivileged artists. In the same way the internet has made the world smaller, we will continue to use it as a tool to discover and promote new talent.” Jordan’s M.O. is making art accessible to all, ignited by his own upbringing “in the ghetto of Jamaica, Queens,” he says, which led him to seek beauty in unconventional places. “As a kid it probably all goes back to skateboarding for me,” he recalls. “I was so into skateboard artwork, that I would actually be excited when I’d break a deck on a trick, because it meant I would have a fresh deck for some new art. It’s crazy to look back and think of skateboards as my first canvas, but that’s really what it was for me at the time.”

Each will be available for 24 hours, and there are no limits on edition quantity, Jordan’s business partner Ryan Horne explains. A portion of each sale will go to The Love Watts Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting art programs for inner city youth all over the country. See the current work at lovewatts.com (or keep an eye on Insta). The first slate of artists include Jason Seife, Jacob Rochester, Johnny Smith, and Sara Shakeel, who makes trippy pop culture collages of diamond McDonald’s fries and glitter stretch marks as a form of “art therapy.” Def cooler than framing a motivational quote.