Marc Spiegler

Director of Art Basel art fairs

‘Art Basel Is Coming to Save Your City’ announced Bloomberg Businessweek in September. The Cities programme, which premiered in Buenos Aires, is a new venture by the art fair juggernaut, in which they organise some art projects and fly in a load of VIPs and press. The city pays for the privilege ($2.1m has been cited), national economic woes notwithstanding. Press reports from international media were blandly celebratory, but one local collector said the initiative merely ‘brought smoke’. Perhaps the more radical move for Spiegler this year, then, was within Art Basel’s core business. Following an initial suggestion by David Zwirner, and in consultation with other blue-chip dealers, Spiegler introduced a form of progressive taxation to the fairs in Basel, Hong Kong and Miami with a sliding scale for booth fees, as well as other discounts, offset by rising fees for the biggest galleries.