Memes vs the Pandemic: The Art World is Keeping Itself Entertained

From toilet paper to wages, a compilation of memes shared by art professionals

The one thing spreading faster than COVID-19 are the number of memes on this viral topic. Perhaps it’s a way to cope with the daily news; or just our human nature craving connection with whoever’s with you down in the trenches. Either way, memes as mechanisms of communicating collective experiences have become outlets for many. And with a pandemic affecting the majority of the world’s population, they should come as no surprise.

Everything closed Shrigley

Artists, critics and institutions have been also sharing their portion of humorous creativity. A satirical Instagram account of Jerry Gogosian @jerrygogosian (a play on the critic Jerry Saltz and gallerist Larry Gogosian) is no exception. He once summarized the phenomenon of memes quite accurately: “…a meme is a way to quickly transmit cultural ideas in an almost throwaway, quick fashion. Instagram probably won’t even exist in 5 years. It captures you on a gut level, makes you laugh because you can relate, and then you move on to the next one”.

Jerry Gogosian MemesOf course, there were also memes referencing Maurizio Cattelan’s Art Basel Miami Beach ‘Comedian’ piece.

Both Royal Academy of Art and an artist account Odobo shared the key necessities (with according price tags).

Toilet paper sanitizer art tape


Toilet paper has been a particularly popular topic given the hoarding going around. Internet artist Miao Ying shared her version featuring Lionel Richie and Charmin rolls.

Lionel Richie Charmin Toilet Paper

Curators Complaining account also used the momentum to raise concerns over the financial struggle many art professionals are facing. While some industries are being subsidised, the freelance sector is especially hit.

Curator salary

Kenny Schachter refers to Ed Ruscha’s ‘Pay Nothing Until April’ piece, taking it a step further with a suggestion to just pay nothing.

ed ruscha

All in all, stay home and go online instead. If you’re distanced enough can also reminisce of art happenings by doing some gardening while sipping champagne:

Art Basil

We should not forget that we’re alone in this together! There is a number of online group chats to join. On our end .ART is offering the option to sign up for 1-1 sessions with a member of our leadership team. Select “.ART Weekly Chat” to specify what you’d like to discuss: Sign up

To finish, below are a couple more Internet favourites!

Finally, not feeling guilty for staying home

Weekend place


Stay strong, birthday boys and girls

…as well as grooms and brides

At least we all get to work from home

Working from home

Or study from home

Study from home

You’ll have plenty of time to plan a trip!

Travel Summer 2020


Summer 2020 Europe

And we can all finally find Waldo!

Where is Waldo Answers


Aleksandra Artamonovskaja
Aleksandra Artamonovskaja
Aleksandra has worked in consulting prior to joining the art world and is one of .ART's first employees. She contributes with articles covering the intersection of art and tech. You can connect with Aleksandra on LinkedIn