90s Art School is a new-ish Instagram archive created by Matthew Atkatz. The 46-year-old Creative Director found a shoebox of grungy old photographs from his college days at the Rhode Island School of Design. Here's how he describe the project on his profile:
90s Art School is a crowdsourced project that celebrates pictures taken by young artists at the end of the 20th century.
These images have languished in shoeboxes for the past twenty years and are now being added to the social sphere for the first time.
Seen through the eyes of emerging artists who were in the process of finding and defining themselves as individuals — and as artists — the images are a window into an entire generation of young creators as a collective group.
Before fame or fortune, failure or success, and in some instances their untimely deaths.
90s Art School captures candid and personal moments from a more carefree time before smartphones and social media.
If you were there you'll remember, and if you weren't, I'm sorry because the nineties were fucking incredible.
Or, as The New York Times succinctly summarized the project:
With aesthetically attuned art students as the focus, the feed is a tableau of Generation X fashion signifiers: flannel shirts, black eyeliner, bleach-blond hair, cropped tops and baggy jeans. "There were goths and hippies and kids that were into ska or straight edge," said Mr. Atkatz, who now runs an advertising agency in Miami with his wife, Liz Marks. "When we went to a show we watched the band, rather than a screen," he said. "There were more delineated tribes in the '90s. In some ways, I feel like social media has homogenized culture."
The paradox, of course, is that this visual rumination on the pre-Instagram age is only possible because of Instagram. "It was like we expended a decade's worth of energy on images that no one has seen," Mr. Atkatz said. "I was interested in trying to create joy using that latent energy."
The account is restricted to to users 16 and up, so I can't post any of the images here. If this sounds like the kind of thing you'd be into — and I suspect the images will resonate with a lot of BoingBoing readers — I recommend clicking through to Instagram and following 90s Art School.