In February, two former Christie’s executives launched The Clarion List, a directory that provides free, user-generated reviews of framers, dealers, art fund managers, PR firms and other businesses in the art industry. Think of it as “Yelp for art services”, say the list’s co-founders, Jessica Paindiris and Gaia Banovich.
“We are adding transparency to the notoriously opaque industry,” Paindiris says. Using their website, clarionlist.com, “You can discover a variety of options without having to know someone—an art market insider—to give you a referral.”
Anyone can contribute, anonymously or by name, and the directory, currently has catalogued ratings and reviews of 2,400 art services providers. So far, the reviews range from glowing—“Shelley knows everything there is to know about art finance. Highly recommended!”, writes a user called Artinny about the art finance adviser Shelley Fischer—to one-star pans (“I would rather sell a kidney” writes another user about another service.)
Consumer speech is protected under US law, but providers have the option to respond to negative comments in a space beneath the review. “We want to create an environment for sharing honest information,” Paindiris says.