July 31, 2015

Quid Pro Kuo

No selfies here.

Artist Andrew Kuo has never taken a selfie. And he’s not planning on doing it any time soon, thank you. “I don’t love the way I look that much,” Kuo says with a laugh. “I mean, I am vain, of course, but I would rather talk about myself.”

So when it comes to Instagram, the foremost social media platform for sharing those ubiquitous snaps, Kuo has opted to do something a little different. Consider his account, @earlboykins, your gateway drug to photos of animals and humans doing bizarre things. 113k followers around the world already do.

And while Kuo wouldn’t call his feed “art,” per se, it’s definitely associated with his body of work. “My paintings are so biographical, but Instagram is really removed from that feeling,” he says. “Instead, it’s an equal and opposite reaction to something emotional – it’s supposed to be something funny.”

The joke starts with his handle, which pays tribute to NBA player Earl Boykins, one of Kuo’s childhood heroes, who happens to be the exact height as the artist (5′ 5″, if you’re wondering). Kuo has a few rules when it comes to what gets posted: “The photos are always of animals and people doing dumb things, but things that are funny, not mean-spirited.”

While Kuo’s social media following is rapidly growing, he doesn’t seem to take the whole “Instagram famous” thing too seriously. “I guess I have an empire,” he says jokingly. “If I had to guess, the secret to my success is teenage Korean girls. They seem to like everything I put up.”