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Welcome to the Instagram blog! See how Instagrammers are capturing and sharing the world's moments through photo and video features, user spotlights, tips and news from Instagram HQ.

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Photography, dance, yoga, Artists on Tumblr, breakdancing, flexibility, germany, User Feature, Instagram,

Feats of Incredible Strength and Flexibility with @rubberlegz

For more breakdance contortionism, follow @rubberlegz on Instagram.

Professional dancer Rauf Yasit (@rubberlegz) can stretch into such seemingly impossible shapes that you might think he has no bones in his body. His self-portraits on Instagram are called “Freezes” that he says require him to “click, run, and quickly get into the pose.” Some positions he can hold for only a few seconds, others for much longer. “With time you get to know your body,” he says. “You grow into it.”

The son of a folk dance teacher from Kurdistan who would make him perform traditional Kurdish dances at weddings, Rauf fell in love with breakdancing as a 12-year-old in Germany. His life as Rubber Legz began when an early back injury forced him to take a different approach, shifting his focus from acrobatics to flexibility. He started watching contortion videos and integrated elements of yoga into his breakdance moves. Rauf is now a full-time dancer with his stage group, Flying Steps, who are currently on tour in Germany. He’s also at work on a book that will feature his poses across the landscapes of Reykjavik, Iceland. He says he wants to “express pure and beautiful things” with his dancing and credits the Instagram community as a motivation for pushing the boundaries of his art—and flexibility.

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photography, design, portrait, art, self portrait, new york city, artists on tumblr, user feature, hashtag highlight, instagram,

Finding a Creative Complement with @wadejeffree and @letasobierajski

To see more imaginative portraits from Leta and Wade, follow @letasobierajski and @wadejeffree on Instagram.

“Usually we send each other ideas, sketches and imagery throughout the week leading up to our shoot,” says Leta Sobierajski (@letasobierajski), who collaborates with partner Wade Jeffree (@wadejeffree) on Complements, a weekly series of unconventional portraits. “We’re inspired both by hilarious couple photography from the Internet and beautiful imagery from couples in history.”

Wade, a graphic designer, and Leta, an art director, shoot the photos in their Brooklyn apartment. “We wanted to collaborate,” explains Wade, “but the opportunity hadn’t arisen.” So the duo decided to explore their creativity—and relationship—through collaborative portraits. “The portraiture often becomes surreal, funny and romantic,” says Leta, “and it helps depict our personalities and the way we think together.”

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Photography, Art, Artists on Tumblr, landscape, rockaways, klaus biesenbach, moma ps1, Art Thursday, New York City, Instagram,

Art and Resilience in the Rockaways

For more photos and videos of the Rockaway! show, follow @klausbiesenbach on Instagram and explore the #rockaway1 hashtag.

At the forefront of ongoing Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts near some of the best beaches in New York City, the art festival Rockaway! is underway until September 1. Curated by Klaus Biesenbach (@klausbiesenbach), the show features works by artists including Adrián Villar Rojas, Patti Smith and Janet Cardiff installed in settings as various as a former automotive warehouse, a military chapel and even the beach itself. “One minute you’re digging your toes in the sand,” Instagrammer Oscar Diaz (@oscmdiaz) says of the show. “The next thing you know, you’re reading Walt Whitman’s poetry engraved on large granite stones.”

Pari Ehsan (@paridust), whose photos combine fashion and art also visited the Rockaways to see the show. “What really struck me is Klaus’s description of the inspiration behind Patti Smith’s The Resilience of the Dreamer,” she says. “After seeing an overwhelming heap of mattresses waiting to be discarded after Hurricane Sandy, the idea of this delicate gilded four-poster bed juxtaposed against a raw dilapidated space is a beautiful symbol of fragility and resilience.”

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design, art, Artists on Tumblr, buenos aires, graphic design, Photography, argentina, User Feature, how i shoot, Instagram,

The World is Flat with Martin Lanciano

To see more of Martin’s cleaned-up chaos follow @_o___________o_ on Instagram.

For graphic designer Martin Lanciano (@_o___________o_), photography is a way to create order from chaos. “I would love to live in a cleaner, less crowded place than Buenos Aires,” he says. “I’m not drawn to all these different architecture styles, colors and textures mixed together.” In his minimalist collage series #offlabeluse_, Martin flattens bulky pieces of medicine packaging and glues them to a thin sheet of paper. “With my pictures, I’m also slicing up the 3D volume of the real world and folding it into flat 2D squares.”

Martin’s photos focus on capturing clean bits of shape and color that he finds in his everyday life. “I’m not interested in the meaning of things or trying to convey a message or idea. As a graphic designer you have to do that,” he explains. “On Instagram, I feel free to just play. It’s like taking the serious part out of the graphic design and just keeping the fun! I try to focus on pure aesthetics such as balance, tension, contrast, empty space and color palette.”

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Art, Artists on Tumblr, design, Architecture, moma ps1, confetti system, flex is kings, New York City, photography, Instagram,

Dancing Your Heart Out at @momaps1

For more of photos and videos of MoMA PS1’s Warm Up series, follow @momaps1 on Instagram and browse the #warmup2014 hashtag.

A visit to MoMA PS1 (@momaps1) in Queens, New York on a Saturday this summer might involve world-class art as well as dancing, oysters and piñatas. “Warm Up is MoMA PS1’s summer-long outdoor experimental music series,” Margaret Knowles (@margie__k), its producer, says. “Visitors who come for their favorite DJs can watch them spin against a stage set created by an emerging design firm alongside an installation by our Young Architects Program; those who come to see an exhibition or sample M. Wells’s take on a lobster roll can dance their hearts out.”

Confetti System (@confettisystem) is one of the design firms featured at this year’s Warm Up. “As artists and designers,” they say, “it is rare to be offered such an open platform within the context of a museum.”

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illustration, art, art on tumblr, Artists on Tumblr, Black and White, david bowie, photography, Instagram, User Feature,

@elenikalorkoti’s Strange and Stylish Illustrations

For more chicly drawn sorceresses, witches and space travelers, follow @elenikalorkoti.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Eleni Kalorkoti’s (@elenikalorkoti) inspiration for the strange and stylish characters she illustrates comes from eclectic sources including ’70s cinema, “Columbo” and dance costumes by Oskar Schlemmer. “Last week I went to see a David Bowie exhibition,” she says, “and now I want to draw everyone wearing quilted jumpsuits.”

For Eleni, Instagram provides an opportunity to share inspiration as well as works in progress. “It’s nice to get some feedback on something after working on it alone in your room all day,” she says. “It’s also a great place to share someone else’s work and hopefully send some new people their way.”

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Black and White, art, Artists on Tumblr, shantell martin, photography, In the Artist's Studio, Instagram,

Follow the Pen of @shantell_martin

To see more of Shantell’s life and work, follow @shantell_martin on Instagram.

Blank canvases were once intimidating for the artist Shantell Martin (@shantell_martin), whose black-and-white work travels across surfaces from crisp white shirts to refrigerator doors. “I used to worry, ‘what if I make a mistake?’” she says. “Then I realized that it’s all a big mistake. You just have to enjoy it.”

Shantell’s advice for artists who are facing the beginning of a project is simple: “Just follow the pen and hope that the pen knows where it’s going.”

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photography, humor, art, artists on tumblr, leonardo dicaprio, my day with leo, Instagram, User Feature,

Imagining @mydaywithleo

To see more of Joel’s imagined moments with Leonardo DiCaprio, follow @mydaywithleo on Instagram.

For Joel Strong, a locations scout and talent manager in New York City, My Day with Leo (@mydaywithleo) is part joke, part tribute. “He’s an icon who is still relevant,” he says. “Growing up in the ’90s, he was certainly on all of my girlfriends’ walls.”

Sometimes silly, sometimes surreal, each post is like a single-panel comic that hinges on a found picture of Leonardo DiCaprio, clipped from a magazine or book. “I might put a 14-year-old, This Boy’s Life Leo on the body of a grandma,” he says. “Or I might take him to the streets in the East Village where he probably actually walked around in the ’90s with David Blaine and Tobey Maguire, trying to find girls.”

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simon de pury, art, Artists on Tumblr, damien hirst, richard prince, os gemeos, Who I follow, photography, Instagram,

#WhoIFollow: @simondepury’s Life Follows Art

In the #WhoIFollow series, we ask Instagrammers to share their favorite people to follow. For more photos and videos from Simon and his discoveries, follow @simondepury, @richardprince4, @damienhirst, @alexisrael, @alexdacorte, @luciensmithstudio, @vikmuniz and @osgemeos.

Art plays a significant role in the life of the auctioneer, art dealer, artist and DJ Simon de Pury (@simondepury). “While we do not need art to live, I couldn’t imagine a life without it,” he says.

Art plays a starring role in Simon’s Instagram feed as well. “Whenever I see something on my travels that visually intrigues me, I like to photograph it with my iPhone,” he says. “I’m interested in high and low, in beauty and ugliness, in substance and superficiality. Choosing which artworks to post is similar to the work of a collector or an editor or a DJ.”

On Instagram, Simon stays informed about the work of artists who interest him. “I love to follow artists, musicians, fashion designers, photographers and art dealers,” he says. “From an art market perspective, Instagram has significantly contributed to the current boom of emerging art.”

Here are Simon’s recommendations for following the art world on Instagram:

  • Richard Prince (@richardprince4) – “Richard Prince uses Instagram to show some of his latest works, which he then takes down again a few hours later. Following him allows you to participate in his creative process. Lately, he started a body of works using Instagram posts on which he adds his own comments.”
  • Damien Hirst (@damienhirst) – “Damien Hirst is a newcomer to Instagram. When he recently generously donated his amazing new mammoth sculpture that I had the privilege to auction off for $15m to benefit amfAR, the foundation for AIDS research, he opened an Instagram feed to disseminate images of the work a few hours ahead of the event. Within the first hour he already had 14k followers.”
  • Alex Israel (@alexisrael), Alex Da Corte (@alexdacorte) and Lucien Smith (@luciensmithstudio) – “They are some of my favorite younger artists. Their Instagram feeds are always fun and entertaining.”
  • Vik Muniz (@vikmuniz) – “Vik Muniz, one of Latin America’s leading artists, infuses his Instagram feed with an infectious joy of life and an irresistible Brazilian flavor.”
  • Os Gemeos (@osgemeos) – “Brazilian twins whose worldwide fame is based on street art that they originally started to do in the streets of São Paulo. They painted the airplane that will carry the Brazilian football team during the FIFA World Cup.”

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art, illustration, In the Artist's Studio, User Feature, Stella Maria Baer, Artists on Tumblr, Instagram,

Exploring Colors and Geometry with @stellamariabaer

To see more of Stella’s work and be a part of her creative process, follow @stellamariabaer on Instagram.

Stella Maria Baer (@stellamariabaer) grew up immersed in the tones and shapes of New Mexico’s high mountain desert. Her recent works, which explore color, geometry and the human form, reflect Stella’s upbringing in the American Southwest. “I tend to gravitate toward particular colors for a period of time, both in my paintings and in my life in general,” she says. “My Instagram feed maps the ebb and flow of my relationship with color.”

Instagram for Stella is not just about bringing people into her studio. She explains, “It’s become its own medium for me—a collage of things I make, places I travel and people’s interactions with what I create.” Stella seeks to inspire others with her work, but has also connected with other women artists who, she says, “inspire me daily to seek out what it is that I am uniquely meant to make.”