A female artist battles family & friends, anti-sex inquisitors on the left and right, and man-made algorithms as she tries to reach 1 million followers of her erotically-tinged Instagram account.
Leah Schraeger is a digital artist and online performer who is always the model, photographer, creator, and brand-manager for her images. She has been profiled in Art Forum, Monopol, The Huffington Post, Vice, Viceland, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, CBS News, ABC News, The NY Daily News, and Playboy; and has exhibited with Johannes Vogt Gallery, Castor Gallery, Untitled Space, Roman Fine Art, ArtHelix Gallery, and the Museum of Visual Art in Leipzig. Her work has been shown in leading galleries and art fairs. She was featured in Robert Adanto’s "The F Word" and spoke at last year’s SXSW:
By 2019, she reached her goal and currently has more than 3 million Instagram followers, the largest of any female artist on the platform and the perfect launching point for any marketing strategy surrounding her film.
Director’s Statement: My idea for Instafamous was born when I set out to reach 1 million followers on an Instagram account, @OnaArtist, purposely blurring the lines between “sexy” and “artistic.” The project engendered so much resistance from friends and family, anti-sex inquisitors on the left and right, and the gatekeepers of “art”; showed me so much about how we as a society view the intersections of performative sexuality and female empowerment that I decided to document my experience as a film. I eventually reached my goal and now have more than 3 million followers, but not before I had to do battle with an unexpected foe: the male-created algorithm at Facebook/Instagram that defines what is “art” and what is “porn.”
2019 Manifestations, Roman Fine Art, East Hampton, NY
2016 Glitter Peach, Miami Beach Cinemateque Gallery, Miami, FL
2015 The Male Gayze, Stream Gallery, Brooklyn, NY
2012 Am I not Art/Ist, Hotel Americano, New York, NY
2010 Pretty | Whatever, The Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA
2019 A Doll’s House, Goethe-Institut, Baku, Azeraijan
2018 Virtual Normality – Net Artists 2.0, Museum of Visual Art, Leipzig, Germany
2017 Last Night, Castor Gallery, New York, NY
2017 Art On The Edge, Roman Fine Art, East Hampton, NY
2017 Screen Present Tense, HDLU, Meštrović Pavilion, Zagreb, Croatia
2017 Bad Sex Bad Sex, Novella Gallery, New York, NY
2016 Summer Fling, Johannes Vogt Gallery, East Hampton, NY
2016 Adult Material, Andreas Schmidt Gallery, Berlin, Germany
2016 The Celebrity Project, Year 1, Superchief Gallery, New York, NY
2016 Digital_Luv<3, Blogfabrik, Berlin, Germany
2016 Ex Nihilo, Nihil Fit / Out of Nothing, Nothing Comes, White Circle Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
2016 Process Portraiture, UT Gallery, Knoxville, TN
2016 In The Raw: The Female Gaze on the Nude, Untitled Space, NYC
2016. Beaver, Center For Performance Research, Brooklyn, NY
2015 Off Pink, The Kitchen, New York, NY
2015 Life Glitch, New Hive, online
2015 Under the Seams Runs the Pain, Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York, NY
2015 Foursome, Gallery Sensei, NYC
2019 An American Dream, Roman Fine Art (solo) at Scope Art Fair, New York, NY
2019 Garden of Eden, Untitled Space, Spring Break Art Show, New York, NY
2018 Female-Friendly, Roman Fine Art (solo) at Scope Art Fair, Miami, FL
2018 Art Helix, Scope Art Fair, Basel, Switzerland
2018 Art Helix, Scope Art Fair, New York, NY
2017 The Celebrity Project, Year 2, Spring Break Art Show (solo), NYC
2017 Lehrer, Adam. “On Sex Positive Selfies, Instagram Fame, and Naked Therapy.” Forbes. April 25.
2017 Genova, Alexandra. “Exploring the Blurred Lines between Celebrity, Sex and Art.” Time. May 2.
2016 “Extreme Body,” Monopol. March. Print cover.
2015 Fateman, Johanna. “Women on the Verge: Art, Feminism, and Social Media.” Artforum. April. Print.
2018 Dismantling the Gaze, International Center of Photography (ICP) Museum, NYC
2018 #NSFW: Feminist Artists on Sex & Digital Identity, South by Southwest (SXSW), Austin
2017 Self-Institutionalizing, Cue Art Foundation, NYC
2016 The F-Word alongside Black Sheep Feminism: The Art of Sexual Politics, Dallas Contemporary, Dallas, TX
2016 The F-Word, Franklin Street Works, Stamford CT
2015 Artist as Curator, The Swiss Institute, NYC
2015 Body Anxiety Comments Section, Bruce High Quality Foundation, NYC