Home Art shop What’s on Your Walls: Social Media Guru Susi Kenna on Finding Artists on Instagram and How She Knows When to Buy

What’s on Your Walls: Social Media Guru Susi Kenna on Finding Artists on Instagram and How She Knows When to Buy



An art collector and social media pro, Susi Kenna has been involved in the art world in several capacities over the past 10 years.

While Kenna is now Social Media Director for the David Zwirner Gallery after a long stint as Global Head of Social Media at Art Basel, she also garnered constant monitoring of hers. On her personal Instagram account, she documents her colorful adventures at traveling exhibitions around the world – and occasionally, her personal collection, which includes handpicked works by Barbara Kruger, Tammi Campbell, Trudy Benson, Alex Gardner and Jenny. Holzer, all of them are artfully displayed around his New York apartment.

We recently spoke to Kenna to discuss her favorite pieces, how she likes to display them, and how she views the relationship between art and style. Read our interview below.

Courtesy of Susi Kenna. Photo: Max Burkhalter.

What was your most recent purchase?

Tammi Campbell Tribute to the place with bubble wrap and wrapping tape # 11 (2021), which I bought on Platform, the new site David Zwirner founded earlier this year. What I love most about this work, besides the cheeky nod to the great Josef Albers, is that although it appears to be covered with ordinary old bubble wrap, it is actually encased in a skin. of trompe l’oeil acrylic paint that looks identical to the real deal, even at close range.

What works or artists do you hope to add to your collection this year?

Nic rad Self portrait if you can believe it (2016). This painting, which I first encountered at Victori + Mo, now Dinner Gallery, was included in Rad’s 2016 exhibition “Perennial Millennial”. I never managed to get it out of my head, and after my wedding this summer, my husband and I decided it had to be the first job we got together. There is something very unique about this piece, but I’d rather wait until I reveal what it is once it’s installed later this year.

What is the most expensive piece of art you own?

Stay and go, a 2007 diptych by Barbara Kruger, which I bought 14 years ago from Frieze London. It’s my pride and joy, and I couldn’t love living with it more.

Image courtesy of Susi Kenna.  Photo by Max Burkhalter.

Courtesy of Susi Kenna. Photo: Max Burkhalter.

Where do you buy art most often?

The usual suspects, although I can’t say I buy from one source more than another. Most often, I discover an artist on Instagram, then I go to see his work in a gallery or a museum, I explore it more if I meet him at an art fair, or I take the time to do a shop visit whenever possible, before making any commitments.

Is there a work that you regret purchasing?

No, well almost, but I dodged that bullet. As I got closer to finalizing the purchase, I saw a side of the artist that made me see the piece in a whole new light. From that point on, I knew the job was something I couldn’t live with in a clear conscience.

How do you like to display your works of art?

As an apartment dweller in New York, of course, I have to take into account the size of the artwork and the wall space I have. But perhaps more important than the logistics is what each piece brings to the room. For example, in my bedroom, I stay quite minimalist and I choose works that are both soothing and curious, pieces that make me feel comfortable, but which also make me guess because of their depth, complexity and their composition. While in the living spaces, I organize the works in areas that seem cohesive while still giving each room the space it needs to be enjoyed individually.

What work have you hung over your sofa? And in your bathroom?

The hanging sofa features a photograph by Julio Cesar Gonzales, works on paper by Carlos Charlie Perez, a small painting by GT Pellizzi, two large paintings by Daniel Lergon, a work on paper by Ryan Brown, a photograph by Andres Serrano and a decor prints by Jenny Holzer. In the bathrooms, there are photographs of Sophia Wallace and Fred W. McDarrah, and a giant mirror drawing done in lipstick by Carlos Charlie Perez.

Image courtesy of Susi Kenna.  Photo by Max Burkhalter.

Courtesy of Susi Kenna. Photo: Max Burkhalter.

What’s the least practical piece of art you own?

Kasper Sonne The list (2006-2010). When I acquired this video work in 2010, it was formatted on DVD. I have not yet converted it to a format that allows me to display it nowadays.

What work would you have liked to buy when you had the chance?

Avery Singer. Oh, I love his job! I constantly wish that I could step back in time just before she had her first museum exhibition, at the Stedelijk Museum in 2016.

If you could steal a work of art without getting caught, what would it be?

that of Ruth Asawa Untitled (S.237, continuous form with six hanging lobes) (California. 1958). It’s now on view to David Zwirner 20th Street in “All Is Possible”, hosted by Helen Molesworth, and it’s absolutely breathtaking and spellbinding.

What does art mean to you?

In other words, it’s my whole world.

Image courtesy of Susi Kenna.  Photo by Max Burkhalter.

Courtesy of Susi Kenna. Photo: Max Burkhalter.

What does the style mean to you? How do you define the relationship between art and style?

Ultimately, because a person’s style changes and evolves over time, it’s important that you start out by being open to loving the art that touches you, but it’s equally important not to let it go. define yourself. Instead, let your taste and style grow with each new experience, encounter, and opportunity to absorb new information.

Personally, I started buying art when I was 18 and took my time making everything in my collection very personal and linked to an important time in my life for the past 19 years. years. One thing has remained constant, however, whether it is art, fashion or design: if I can’t help but think about it, it is my sign to invest in it, because I am not the type to return or sell works from my collection.

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest news, eye-opening interviews and cutting-edge reviews that keep the conversation going.