Behind 'Soliloquy': The Instagram Account Giving Voice to Artists
Soliloquy, the Instagram account originally conceived as part of an independent study, has quickly turned into Conor Pochna ‘19’s passion project. The page’s goal is to not only feature a diverse set of artists, mediums, and stories, but to fill a gap that other Instagram art-galleries have: providing the artist with a voice.
Pochna is a business major with a double minor in arts administration and studio art. Rather than putting together an exhibit or interning at an arts company — which he had already done — Pochna wanted to focus on how social media impacts art and vice versa. When explaining the situation, Pochna had quite a positive approach: “I feel like social media, especially now, is getting a lot of bad press. Which I understand, but I feel like one area — especially with Instagram, which I'm focusing on — it’s useful with is art.”
And the account takes advantage of this attitude. The profile name may have been a result of little metaphor (a friend’s nickname), but it has come to adopt a greater meaning. In theatre, a soliloquy refers to a moment where a sole actor will perform a monologue on stage to the audience; it’s the closest viewers can get to the inside of the character’s mind. Soliloquy, the account, operates in a surprisingly similar way: all of the artists’ works are representations of themselves — whether that be them as an artist in general, or a result of something they were going through — and now they can express themselves to a much wider audience.
According to Pochna, many social media based art galleries that are successful just post pictures of art they find online. Since coming up with Soliloquy, Pochna “figured that I would want it to be different from what I’ve seen. I’m sure there’s accounts I don’t know about that are incredibly personal, but from the more commercial ones that I know and love the content of, I would sometimes like to get to know the artist more. And sure you can go to their tag and to their page, but I think it’s nice to see the person’s face, read what they have to say, and see the work that comes with it.”
While Soliloquy continues to get off the ground, most of the featured artists have been close friends of Pochna, allowing his two worlds to come together in an interesting way. Pochna, who considers himself quite lucky, does “know a lot of people who are artists and I see their work all the time and it’s amazing.” The Instagram account has since become a way to showcase his friends’ work, but also people from other schools and showcase different styles.
As of now, the publication process starts with a photo of the artist, taken by Pochna, which is followed by a short artist statement, which is either going to be specific to the pictures being profiled, or just about the artist’s art philosophy in general. That is then followed by three works. While Pochna says he would love to feature even more pieces, he is conscious of artists who may not have more than three lying around.
The artwork that Pochna photographs were not necessarily made to go together, but he has found that shooting them in front of the same backdrop is an effective way to make each post seem consistent. When showcasing photographers, however, “it is what it is,” as he says. Overall, Pochna’s goal is to have a theme for each week and person. That way, the feed is consistent and each artist is defined.
So far, the account has featured one student from Skidmore and two from Wesleyan. In the next few weeks, one of Pochna’s friends who attends NYU is going to be featured as well. Even as the account is confined to his friends, it is very important to Pochna to feature people from all institutions — stressing that he does not want Soliloquy to just be a Skidmore art account.
The final project will conclude with Pochna accumulating all the work and publishing a magazine, possibly including written work as well. Moving forward, Pochna hopes Soliloquy continues to be successful in its vision, gaining more followers and submissions. No matter what, the goal will stay the same: open up more people to diverse mediums and perspectives, all through the artist’s lens.
Keep up to date on the featured artists by following @soliloquy_gallery on Instagram.