The Clarion List, a unique directory of art service providers, with co-founder and CEO Jessica Paindiris
AS TECHNOLOGY HAS ADVANCED BY PHENOMENAL LEAPS AND BOUNDS IN THE LAST DECADE, IT HAS INFILTRATED EVERY ASPECT OF OUR LIVES AND THE ART INDUSTRY IS NO EXCEPTION. TECHNOLOGY HAS CHANGED THE WAY WE VIEW, MARKET AND BUY ART, VISIT GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS. IT OFFERS US AN ENCYCLOPEDIC VIEW OF THE ART EXHIBITIONS AND FAIRS HELD AROUND THE WORLD. WHILE A SELECTION OF APPS AND WEBSITES HAVE BEEN SUCCESSFUL IN THIS HIGHLY COMPETITIVE FIELD, PROVIDING A WIDE RANGE OF SERVICES FROM HOSTING AUCTIONS, OFFERING CURATED LINKS OF ARTISTS WHOSE WORK IS SIMILAR IN STYLE AND VIRTUAL TOURS OF GALLERIES AND MUSEUMS IN EVERY MAJOR INTERNATIONAL CITY.
UNTIL THE CLARION LIST WAS ESTABLISHED IN 2015, HOWEVER, WE ALL STILL DEPENDED ON WORD OF MOUTH FOR REFERRALS FOR ART SERVICES CRUCIAL TO DEALERS, COLLECTORS AND GALLERISTS ALIKE! NO SINGLE RESOURCE EXISTED TO REVIEW, SEARCH AND FILTER THROUGH THOUSANDS OF ART SERVICES COMPANIES: ART CONSULTANTS, APPRAISERS, FRAMERS, STORAGE AND TRANSPORT, AUCTION HOUSES, AND E-COMMERCE PLATFORMS, TO NAME A FEW.
THE CLARION LIST VETS THE ART SERVICES IT LISTS PROVIDING RATINGS AND REVIEWS, A BRILLIANT IDEA METICULOUSLY CONCEIVED AND FOUNDED BY TWO ART WORLD PROFESSIONALS, JESSICA PAINDIRIS AND GAIA BANOVICH. THE DIRECTORY IS A GREAT SOURCE NOT ONLY FOR A WIDE RANGE OF PRACTICAL SERVICES BUT ALSO SERVES AS AN ESSENTIAL GUIDE TO NAVIGATE THE EVER-INCREASINGLY COMPLICATED TERRAIN OF OUR INTERNATIONAL ART MARKET.
IT IS A PLEASURE TO INTRODUCE CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF THE CLARION LIST, JESSICA PAINDIRIS, TO THE LRFA BLOG.
JESSICA, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR YOUR CONTRIBUTION. I AM SO IMPRESSED BY YOUR LAUNCH AND ITS SUCCESS AND LOOK FORWARD TO HEARING ABOUT THE DEVELOPMENT OF YOUR COMPANY AND THE SERVICES IT PROVIDES.
HOW DID YOU BECOME INTERESTED IN ART? DOES YOUR FAMILY COLLECT AND DID YOU HAVE EXPOSURE TO MUSEUMS AND THE ART WORLD GROWING UP?
Hi Leslie, happy to speak with you! While my family did not collect, both my maternal grandparents were artists. My grandmother, Joan Heston, has won dozens of awards for her work, was president of Allied Artists of America, has served on many art association boards and taught at Silvermine School of Art. My grandfather, Charles Heston, was an artist for the Navy before launching his own advertising business in NYC.
AT YALE, YOU ELECTED TO STUDY THE ART MARKET. WAS THIS PART OF A BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT AND MARKETING PROGRAM OR A MORE ACADEMIC ART HISTORICAL APPROACH?
This was an academic/passion pursuit! I entered Yale planning to be a math major, but after taking my first history of art survey course, quickly fell in love with the major, especially modern and contemporary art.
WHAT PATH DID YOUR PROFESSIONAL CAREER TAKE PRIOR TO FOUNDING THE CLARION LIST?
Although I was interested in a job in the arts, I was under the (false) impression that the only major options were sales positions for galleries or auction houses, which was not for me (I wish I knew of the dozens of art industry categories and career paths like we list on The Clarion List!). Instead, my career has focused on marketing; I led the marketing department for a top commercial real estate company (since acquired by Cushman & Wakefield) before transitioning to Christie’s.
YOUR BUSINESS PARTNER, GAIA BANOVICH, HAS AN ACCOMPLISHED PROFESSIONAL HISTORY IN THE FIELD OF STRATEGIC BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT. WHEN AND HOW DID YOU MEET AND HOW DID THE IDEA FOR THE CLARION LIST DEVELOP?
Gaia and I met while at Christie’s. While there, we discovered this gap in the marketplace. Our clients would ask us for outside referrals and we would have to rely on our Rolodex, based on people we’d met briefly months or years ago. There was no free, one-stop resource for finding new companies and checking for quality by reading reviews from real clients. We felt the art world needed its own Yelp – and the idea was born!
WHAT WERE YOUR PROFESSIONAL ROLES AT CHRISTIE’S AND WHAT INSPIRED THE IDEA OF THE CLARION LIST?
Gaia was VP, Business Development Manager and Jessica was AVP, Marketing Manager. Because of our marketing & sales background, we realized that The Clarion List would not only benefit collectors and their advisors looking to source an art service company, but would also empower art companies to reach a global audience in need of their services.
WHAT WAS THE TIME FRAME, IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE, THAT IT TOOK TO TURN AN IDEA INTO AN ENTREPRENEURIAL REALITY? WHAT WERE THE STAGES OF DEVELOPMENT TO LAUNCH THE CLARION LIST?
We decided to “quit our day jobs” and focus on The Clarion List full-time in spring 2014. We wrote and rewrote our business plan, found angel investment, and worked with our developers to bring it life. We launched our beta site with NYC listings in May 2015.
AND NOW YOU’VE ALREADY EXTENDED THE SERVICE DIRECTORY TO INCLUDE EUROPEAN CITIES!
IN OUR NEXT LRFA BLOG, JESSICA WILL INFORM US ABOUT THE START-UP OF THE CLARION LIST AND ITS MISSION. SHE IS A UNIQUE EXPERT IN THE AREA OF 2.0 MARKETING TO THE ART WORLD. TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HER PRESENCE ON THE LRFA BLOG – YOUR QUESTIONS WILL BE ANSWERED, YOUR COMMENTS MUCH APPRECIATED.