Chelsea Gallerist Zach Feuer Sees Sales Bolstered by Instagram

The Chelsea-based dealer Zach Feuer made four sales before the Armory Show even opened thanks to Instagram.

Sales began on Wednesday as the 2014 Armory Show opened its doors to its “invited guests,” but for Chelsea dealer Zach Feuer sales started a little earlier, and specifically thanks to social media. “We’ve sold four pieces off Instagram,” Feuer told artnet News in his booth at the fair on opening day, where a couple of works from Marianne Vitale’s Shingle Painting series as well as a large blue and red abstract painting by Jeremy Deprez  were on view, among other works. He explained that he had posted pictures from their booth on Instagram (like one image of a shiny black 3D printed bust by Jon Rafman still in its box filled with foam packing peanuts) the day before the fair opened and collectors had called in to make the purchases.

Ranging in price from $9,000 to $15,000, the four works sold included one 3D-printed bust and photographs by Rafman, and a painting by Deprez. The clients who bought the four works were all out-of-towners who couldn’t make it to the fair. The entire booth had sold out by day’s end.

While making sales or putting work on reserve before a fair opens is nothing new for dealers at the Armory Show or any international art fair, the use of Instagram to make those sales is novel. And it’s still somewhat rare. “We do use Instagram,” said Emanuel Aguilar, assistant director of Chicago-based gallery Kavi Gupta where works by Scott Reeder and Whitney Biennial artist Tony Tasset were on offer. “We do a lot of promotion through it, but haven’t yet made a sale through it.” At Susanne Vielmetter, which had works by Whitney Biennial participants Amy Sillman and My Barbarian for sale, one director said that while they use social media to “get the word out” and it “helps generate interest,” no sales have yet been made by way of Twitter or Instagram.

“This is the third fair I’ve used Instagram,” said Feuer, noting that it had worked for him in Miami in December 2013 (where he showed at NADA) and at Art Los Angeles Contemporary in late January 2014. While he made a comparable number of sales at each of those fairs (“maybe Miami was a little more than this one”), he liked being back at the Armory Show. “There’s a lot of energy here. It’s got a local, hometown feel.”

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