Ten years ago, when Marc Spiegler left his role as one of the art world’s most acute market journalists to take the helm of Art Basel, the preeminent Swiss art fair had two editions, one in Switzerland and one in Miami. It was also, unmistakably and without pretense, an art fair—a place where international dealers could convene and show works of art to an assembled mass of collectors, allowing them to inspect them in person and make new discoveries.
A decade later, Art Basel has expanded to include a burgeoning third edition in Hong Kong—and a whole lot more. For starters, it has a robust social media presence, with 1.4 million followers on Instagram, 660,000 on Twitter, and 414,238 on Facebook—an audience that dwarfs the 250,000 people who come annually to the actual fairs. It had a partnership with Kickstarter (now discontinued) that raised nearly $2 million for nonprofit art sites. It has a website that archives high-quality images of artworks that exhibitors have shown in previous editions, allowing you to visit the galleries’ “profile pages” and “follow” them to receive updates.
The Art Basel YouTube channel (which boasts 10,593 subscribers), meanwhile, features videos of talks from the fair’s “Conversations” program, but also professionally shot mini-movies about individual Art Basel exhibitors. Recently, Spiegler gave into his journalistic roots and hired a team of editors to create a new digital content layer for the fair, bringing on Jeni Fulton—the former editor-in-chief of Sleek magazine, whose official bio cites a PhD “on the subject of value and evaluation in contemporary art”—and veteran market reporter Coline Milliard. Read more