The Love Watts Project Supports Art
Jordan “Watts” Watson began his appreciation of art using his Instagram (@love.watts) as a medium during the early years of the platform. What started as a personal art page has since cultivated over 1.7 million followers, still growing, resulting in a curatorial empire. As his simple philosophy burgeoned into a thriving business, he began to co-manage other related projects and accounts, the latest of which is the Love Watts Project.
The Love Watts Project sells limited edition prints from selected artists and a portion of each sale will go to The Love Watts Foundation, a charity dedicated to supporting art programs for inner-city youth throughout the country. We caught up with the Watts team, Philippe Hadey and Ryan Horne, over e-mail to talk about the latest venture.
EH: How do you pick who to work with and include on Instagram?
W: Everything we do, we try to keep extremely organic. With a growing profile, we are fortunate to receive submissions and requests every day. We try to look at everything in our “universe” so to speak, but we pick what we like and what makes sense for the curation of our brand.
EH: How do you think social media has changed the way people think about and consume art?
W: By making art more accessible, social media has opened people’s eyes to forms of art they may not have considered before, let alone appreciate. Its almost as if our expanding digital world is making our physical world smaller, enabling everyone to see content from around the globe.
Did the growing following of your account change the way you approached your business and aesthetic? If so, how?
W: Definitely not. We love and appreciate our followers, but their presence is more of a validation of the direction we are already going in, rather than a signal to change form. If anything, recognizing the power behind the Love Watts brand, we now want to manifest our identity into physical spaces, giving our followers a different perspective to view us.
What is your ideal artist to post or add to your collections?
W: The thing about Love Watts that intrigues so many different types of people, is that we don’t have any type of ideal artist or post. We curate based on what we like, and that can reflect any artistic concept or medium. The one commonality we always look for is perspective. What story is the artist trying to communicate? What reality does the viewer see?
A lot of time social media following is taken into account when looking at new artists — do you think its necessary for artists to gain recognition or do you think it’s just part of it?
W: It definitely helps, but having a large following is not one of our requirements to post someone’s artwork. There are incredible established artists with mediocre social media followings, and there are new pop artists that have huge followings but have never had a gallery show. One of the main goals of the Love Watts Project is to bring attention to emerging artists and to make the more established artists more accessible.
Can you elaborate more on the outreach programs that The Love Watts Foundation is apart of?
W: The Love Watts Project will donate $3.00 of every sale to the Foundation which in turn will be distributed as donations to our partners who focused on artistic programs for inner-city youth.
What’s the best advice you have for young emerging artists?
W: Keep going and turn your difficulties into inspiration.
What are you most excited about in terms of what’s happening with art right now?
W: Even though so many people focus on the “exclusive” side of the art world (especially with the astronomical price points), we love how inclusive it has become through social media.