Yelp for the Art World…What Could Go Wrong?

The co-founders of The Clarion List, Jessica Paindiris and Gaia Banovich

Jessica Paindiris and Gaia Banovich are co-founders of the first art services directory (Photo: Jessica Paindiris/The Clarion List)

Art enthusiasts, collectors, artists and advisors, behold: the Yelp for art services. The first public database of art companies in the U.S. officially launched today. This can’t be bad, right? I mean…

Two former Christie’s executives, Jessica Paindiris and Gaia Banovich, created The Clarion List, which gives art collectors access to reviews of a range of services.

“While we were there [at Christie’s], we noticed that the art market was very opaque,” Ms. Paindiris told the Observer. “We realized everyone was relying on word of mouth or referrals. This is kind of silly. We should welcome the art world to the 21st century.”

Whether you’re looking for an art gallery, a private dealer, an attorney or an art storage provider, The Clarion List has you covered. The founders believe the platform will be helpful to both seasoned collectors and new collectors alike. “Even if you don’t consider yourself an art collector, if you just inherited your parent’s work, the site can be helpful,” Ms. Paindiris said.

While on The Clarion List, clients can search by category, location and featured listings to find exactly what they need in the art world. (Photo: Jessica Paindiris/ The Clarion List)

While on The Clarion List, clients can search by category, location and featured listings to find exactly what they need in the art world. (Photo: Jessica Paindiris/ The Clarion List)

The new platform currently lists companies in New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami and Palm Beach, Fla. All directory and listings are available for free.

“We’re trying to democratize the art market, and make it accessible and transparent for the first time,” Ms. Paindiris explained. A lofty goal to be sure, but one that no regulatory agency or governmental body has yet accomplished. Still, the internet is pretty amazing.

Besides providing a list of services, The Clarion List also includes ratings and reviews. Ms. Paindiris refers to it as the “Yellow Pages” of art information, adding that it’s the first time the art community has been able to publicly comment on these companies.

The new website also includes a blog called The Clarion Circle that will provide service journalism for would-be art collectors.

“We felt that there’s a lot of blogs and new sources out there about art, artists and art values, but what was lacking was more of an educational component,” Ms. Paindiris said. Besides aggregated articles, the Clarion Circle also includes original content written by the co-founders.

The Clarion List plans to expand to other markets soon.

The Clarion List includes a blog that the co-founders post original content on.(Photo: Jessica Paindiris/The Clarion List)

The co-founders post original content on The Clarion List’s blog, the Clarion Circle. (Photo: Jessica Paindiris/The Clarion List)

Yelp for the Art World…What Could Go Wrong?