States of Independence
Dazed's ultimate guide to US creativity

Your best art Tumblrs

From intimate portraits to GIFs mocking the state of net art, we profile our favourite reader-submitted US art Tumblrs

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Things that will remind me of youCourtesy of Maddie Goldbeck

Last week, we hosted State of Art week as part of our States of Independence project, with guest edits from photo ‘it’ girl Petra Collins, to the New Museum's tech-creativity space Rhizome to LA’s foremost contemporary gallery MOCA. The week also set the agenda for the Dazed Tumblr, as we asked you to submit your Tumblrs on the best in visual radicalism.

We received hundreds of submissions for State of Art week, eventually whittling the entrants down to just a handful – sharing one Tumblr each day. Attempting to span the enormous spectrum of on Tumblr we considered GIFs, collage, photography and original digital creations. Dazed visual arts editor Francesca Gavin even lent a hand, selecting Christian Petersen and his Tumblr GIF LORDS. Running with the theme of youth culture photography and sex statements during Petra Collins’ takeover, we selected Maddie Goldbeck and her Tumblr of intimate portraits and GIFs. Check out all our favourite State of Art Tumblrs below, and submit your film Tumblrs for State of Film week here.

Seattle, Washington
I Want You Studio

Tell us about the piece we selected as Tumblr of the Day – what inspired it?
It was kind of a silly joke. I've worked a lot with Internet artists over the years and I really do feel that it is the new frontier for art generally. The GIF was really born out of seeing all the trends and clichés that seem spread so quickly through net art because of it's very nature.

What inspires you – online and offline?
A few of things that have inspired me recently are the film Under The Skin, the James Turrell show at LACMA, Mario Kart 8, Veedon Fleece by Van Morrison, and Keiichii Tanaami's graphic art. Online is harder to narrow down. I am lucky enough to be friends with a lot of  intelligent and creative people on various social media sites so the flow of inspiration is pretty much constant.

Why do you create GIFs?
When I started it was I was mainly making them about things I thought were cool. It was like a satisfying problem to solve reasonably doing a crossword. I really wouldn't have considered myself a GIF artist and probably still don't because I do so many other things. But I do now try and make things that give me genuine creative satisfaction.

How important is Tumblr to you, and how would you describe or quantify its power in the creation of net art and as a platform?
I'm not sure how important Tumblr is to me, but it's cool that people can see and share my work and I can see and share things I like.  A while ago I did an experiment trying to make things that would be really popular on Tumblr. I failed miserably! It's impossible to predict what people are going to like or not so now I just do what I feel.

What’s the best thing you’ve found on Tumblr? and are two of the best things on the Internet.

What’s the worst thing you’ve found on Tumblr?
There's too much horror on Tumblr to mention.

What would you like to find on Tumblr?

Wilmington, North Carolina

Tell us about the piece we selected as Tumblr of the Day – how did you create it?
It was the day after I’d spent the night with Tom, the guy I’m involved with. He was in the shower in my dorm room and I decided to take a cell phone photo of him. I love documenting my relationships, especially romantic ones. When we were on the street later that day a man came up to us and asked him to buy a pink rose for me. It was an awkward exchange but the rose was beautiful and I kept it. I knew that pink roses would always remind me of Tom after that so I placed the rose over the photo in a GIF. It’s interesting to me how simple things can remind us so much of people or places.

What inspires you – online and offline?
Fashion shoots from the 90s and early 2000s (Tumblr is a great place to find these), film photography, self-perception, and mental illness.

Why is Tumblr important to you and your work?
Tumblr is the site that so many awesome young photographers are using to show their work in a beautiful, streamlined way. It also keeps people who are interested in the artist updated. You can communicate with thousands of people and inspire them. It’s also one of the best sites to share GIFs on. 

What’s the best thing you’ve found on Tumblr?
Friends. And other great artists.

What’s the worst thing you’ve found on Tumblr?
Men’s Rights Activists.

What would you like to find on Tumblr?
Tumblr has everything I’d want already.

San Marcos, Texas

Tell us about the piece we selected as Tumblr of the Day – how did you create it?
I was motivated by the boredom, apathy, and the sexual lust that come with summer vacation, which are the product of the haze and daze of the daily heat and dehydration (and maybe a hangover). Before I had the idea for the piece, my friend who really loved my digital collages said to me, "I don't know why you don't do at least one every day." So I made one the next day.

What inspires you – online and offline?
A major theme of inspiration for all of my art is from the idea of a hazy memory. My dad was a teen during the late 60s and early 70s, so he was all about drugs, drinking, sex and potentially bad decisions. The pictures I've seen from when he was around my current age (give or take 7 years) are amazing and accidentally artful and beautiful. Honesty and sincerity drive myself and my art, as well as irony and biting sarcasm. Sometimes I allow my art to say things to certain people without myself literally saying the things I want to. I guess it's sometimes like a subtweet, lol.

What’s the best thing you’ve found on Tumblr?
The best thing I've found on Tumblr...that's hard! I guess I could say the diversity and strong personalities, but I do hate the assholes within all the various hate groups. I suppose the idea of intellectual and cultural exploration excites me a bunch about Tumblr. The availability of being exposed to everyone and all these trends or movements around the world is incredible and beautiful, and I think a lot of people take it for granted...

What’s the worst thing you’ve found on Tumblr?
I recently saw a post about a rape that went viral (somehow?) and there was a community of people online making a meme out of her limp body on the ground from the on-the-scene video. There is definitely a few dark sides of Tumblr, and it can get pretty horrific.

What would you like to find on Tumblr?
I'd like to see a more nihilistic Tumblr I suppose. I do think there are a good amount of uptight pricks on Tumblr that really need to care less about pointless "issues" like being thin enough and having the best iPhone. Have you heard of ‘What happens at private school goes on Snapchat?’ It's awful, but also so incredible at the same time. People need to care less if other people are shitheads. I suppose what I'm trying to say is that I think it's best to just focus on yourself and your relationships. It's working out pretty well for me.

Chicago, Illinois

Tell us about the piece we selected as Tumblr of the Day – how did you create it?
Actually the piece you selected is very simple to create! I found a photo of a model that I wanted to use for a collage I was working on, and I was editing it in Photoshop to crop out the background. In Photoshop if the photo is locked as the background and you try to delete a portion of it, a box will pop up that says "fill with: content aware" and that's how the image became kind of pixelated and abstracted because the remaining portions were left to fill the new empty spaces of the photo. I thought the way it turned out was really interesting, so then I just took a screenshot to keep the lines created by Photoshop selection because I thought it added an interesting texture to it. A lot of what I make is just from messing around in Photoshop and trying different things!

What inspires you – online and offline?
I'm constantly inspired by everything! I will honestly pull out my phone and take pictures walking down the street of like a shadow on the sidewalk or the colours on a bike. I'm really inspired by RnB music, movies, abstract painting, and popular culture. And honesty anything that obviously comes from an original and unique point of view!

What’s the best thing you’ve found on Tumblr?
I don't now if I can say any one thing specifically, but I can say that the best thing I've gotten from Tumblr is the opportunity to follow a lot of interesting and positive people and it's a way for me to constantly be inspired all day every day.

What’s the worst thing you’ve found on Tumblr?
Negative people!

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