Social media have become a vital tool for artists — but are they good for art?

L.A. artist Micol Hebron, an artist who has had images removed from social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
(Barbara Davidson / Los Angeles Times)

When the Argentine-born, London-educated artist Amalia Ulman moved to Los Angeles in 2014, she spent weeks chronicling the experience on Instagram (@amaliaulman). She posted photos of her shopping binges, her avocado toast and even her plastic surgery: a boob job, natch. 

After her move, Ulman became every stereotype of the Westside workout woman, down to the feel-good aphorisms she also regularly posted online. ("Don't worry about those who talk behind your back, they're behind you for a reason.") 

None of it — except for maybe the avocado toast — was real. It was a performance, part of a larger examination of the ways in which women depict themselves in public. “Excellences & Perfections,” as the