5 Questions on Art in a Digital Era

Oct 26, 2017

New digital technology and an influx of online art businesses are changing the way we research artists and art professionals, build and manage our collections and even crack the most advanced art forgers. Hear from Jessica Paindiris, CEO and a Founder of The Clarion List, as she discusses the rise of the online art market and the affect it is having on the global art market.

What issues has technology solved or created in the art world?

There is a misconception that the art world is behind the times in terms of technology. Since The Clarion List’s 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.

Art market reports are criticized to be based on anecdotal data. What is going to happen to transparency in the art market?

I am seeing the art market making strides in terms of transparency in other ways. For example, a growing number of forensic art analysis firms are solving authenticity issues using cutting edge technology, while newer blockchain database companies are creating secure online records for establishing provenance.

With technology affecting most aspects of the art market, what does this mean for art collectors and professionals?

The art world is becoming more accessible to a wider, global collecting class thanks to the growth of e-commerce platforms - listing platforms, online dealers, online auction houses. And the art market is growing more efficient for professionals thanks to innovative software companies like collection and gallery management software, condition report software, artist website software and catalog raisonné software providers who are making it easier to conduct business. The Clarion List is a resource to discover all of these types of companies.

New technologies are streamlining how the art world operates and start-ups, such as The Clarion List, are capitalizing on those opportunities. What does this mean for the future of the art world?

The art market is unique because art itself is unique. So much of the art trade involves subjective analysis and insight that requires much selling, buying and servicing to be transacted in person. But I feel strongly that even businesses operating in these high-touch corners of the art world can benefit from many of these aforementioned online tools and high-tech businesses. If their art company can be marketed better, or if they are operating in a more transparent market, or if they spend less time awayfrom focusing on their core business, the result will be a stronger market, benefiting all aspects of the industry. I think the art world will continue to become more technologically advanced over the next 10 to 20 years as awareness grows about these various new companies and more companies enter the fray, resulting in a more accessible, efficient and transparent art market.

Currently, who are the biggest digital influencers of the art market (ie Instagram)?

We list 7,000 art businesses around the globe on The Clarion List, hundreds of which operate in the digital space. Many are carving out unique niches and it's hard for me to select just a few! That said, I think Instagram is indeed a top contender for a major influencer, as its photo-first medium lends itself so naturally to the art market. I think most art businesses can benefit from focusing their social media efforts on Instagram!

The Clarion List is the leading online resource to discover top rated art service providers worldwide. Users can review, search and filter through thousands of art service companies across dozens of art service categories, including art consultants, appraisers, framers, storage and installation companies, auction houses, private dealers, e-commerce platforms, and more.www.clarionlist.com