Art & Fashion
Jan 31, 2023

Is iPhone Photography Art? Photodumps Are Now Hitting Museum Galleries

The goal of an exhibit called “INWARD: Reflections on Interiority,” at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York City is one of the first museum curations shot entirely on an iPhone. 


ICP’s installment ran from late 2021 to January 2022. The curated series gave the spotlight to five emerging Black artists with one prompt: “Use the iPhone document your inner lives,” then share your point of view with… literally…everyone.

Curator Isolde Brielmaier notes that Apple is also redefining its work, specifically with regards to the iPhone 12 Pro Max and its camera’s capabilities. “The richness of darker skin tones comes through in much more dynamic way,” Breilmaier explains. There’s also a new depth of focus that allows the artists more control when photographing and isolating movement—which enhances the work of Arielle Bobb-Willis, who imbues her dancing figures with so much glistening saturation, you wonder if their auras are radiating out of their skin. (“I use color to fight off depression,” Bobb-Willis notes, citing the bright colors and powerful movement as ways to push beyond pain.) 

According to Apple, these results with their iPhone camera capabilities will only be amplified with their new iPhone. Now looking to the future more and more exhibits across museums of all sizes and notoriety are expanding this curated content of what has become known as “photo dump,” culture on the internet across social media platforms. With constant messages of “be seen,” it seems that museums and the art world at large are indeed taking notice and pivoting to include social media driven imagery into their collections. Afterall, what is art if not a reflection of our daily lives?

What are your thoughts on this latest adapation to the art world. Would you head to a museum to see a printed curation of your favorite photo dumps in the flesh? Let us know below.