Interview: Jessica Paindiris of The Clarion List
We sat down with Jessica Paindiris of The Clarion List to talk about the platform and how it’s changing the art services industry.
H: Tell me a little bit about your background and how you came to be interested in the art world.
JP: My grandparents are artists and I majored in history of art at Yale, but it wasn’t until my marketing career led me to Christie’s that the idea for The Clarion List was born. I’m passionate about preserving art for future generations by helping collectors and artists find the best expert service provider.
H: What sparked the idea for The Clarion List?
JP: The idea for The Clarion List was born during my time in an executive role at Christie’s because I felt something was missing in the art market: lack of transparency and access.
The Clarion List replaces secretive lists and word-of-mouth referrals with a transparent and easy-to-use database of art service companies that is searchable and sortable, complete with reviews and ratings from the community. This enables collectors, artists, advisors and aspiring collectors to find the resources they need, with reviews from others in the art world to guide their choices.
We now list 7,000+ companies in 70 global market in over three dozen categories, including art consultants, appraisers, conservators, law firms, transport companies, collection management software providers, lighting firms, marketing & PR firms, and fund managers.
H: What kinds of people are using The Clarion List? How has their feedback changed your initial idea, if at all?
JP: The Clarion List is being used by collectors, artists, art market professionals, museum registrars, major artist estate managers and fiduciary advisors from around the world. Collectors are bidding out projects, bookmarking companies for future use, and sharing information with each other via reviews. Many gallerists, consultants and other listed companies are also participating by claiming, managing, and updating their listing.
While we had initially built the site for a core audience of new and aspiring collectors who lacked established networks, we continue to be inundated with positive feedback from veterans in the art world, thanking us for providing this resource. For example, one auction professional told me she had discovered local Los Angeles conservators she had not known of before, and a veteran NYC art consultant thanked me for enabling her to find a framer for a client moving to Denver. Art market professionals have actually become a core audience.
H: What is one thing that has surprised you or has changed how you think about the art world since you started this company?
JP: I shared the view of many that the art world was slow to embrace technology and its many benefits, and I thought that I was one of the few trying to affect change. But, since The Clarion List’s beta launch in spring 2015, I have realized that there are, in fact, hundreds of industrious companies helping to bring technology to the industry—either carving out unique and new niches or advancing established business models—in order to add transparency, accessibility and efficiency to the market. We initially had just 18 art service categories, but have had to more than double that number to include tech-driven categories like forensic art analysis firms, catalogue raisonne management software, blockchain databases and more. I recently wrote an editorial on the topic of present technology in the art world, which you can read on the Clarion List blog.
H: What’s next for The Clarion List?
JP: In January, we expanded our database beyond the US and Europe, adding 1,000 new listings in 20 new global markets such as Toronto, Hong Kong, Dubai, Rio, Sydney and more. We plan to continue to grow globally, add new service categories and develop our product features in the future.
Check out The Clarion List, the leading online resource for discovering top rated art service companies worldwide today: www.clarionlist.com