I found the article on "giclee" prints entertaining. I find little merit in his concerns however.
If his concern is that people are being duped into paying more for prints of traditional art
translated to inkjet than he thinks they are really worth- because they see them as "art" and he
sees them as "product", then what can I say? People buy what they want for the price they want it.
Inkjet prints will command the price people want to pay for them. As long a buyer is told that
they are buying a print and the edition quantity is real and legitimate (big if there), then what is
there to complain about? I do think knowing the archival nature of the materials used is a
legitimate selling point, one that would increase the selling value if these are high quality materials.
People buy images for lots of different reasons, only some of which is related its "closeness" to
the original, or the reproduction method. Those features should go into evaluating how much you are
willing to pay for the object.
His issues seem to revolve around the concept of prints being an affordable way for the public to
collect Art. He sees traditional limited editions of lithography, intaglio, photography, monotype
as a "real" piece of art, but a print from a 4 color press or a inkjet as just a product. In some
ways I would agree. The hand of the artist actually working the materials has meaning to me. But
then I would not pay the same amounts for a mechanical reproduction for that reason. The puzzler for
me is he gives Photography a pass because of its very nature of copying the world, and digital art
because it is just electrons, even though these days it is just as easy to print a BaGillion
Photoprints as inkjet prints. In fact a lot of Photography is now inkjet prints in the art photo
market. Possibly because an archival color Inkjet print is expected to last longer than a color Photo.
I can only conclude he thinks the public is made up of uneducated rubes that need protection from
unscrupulous artists. I think at most they could use a little more education. If I see an image I
just have to have, the price is fair as long as you know what you are buying.
On 5/5/10 8:50 PM, Patricia Savage wrote:
> I haven't tried to forward a message before to this group, so let me
> know if this works. I would like your comments on this article. If it
> doesn't, I'll copy and paste.
> It is written by Michael Skalka, [log in to unmask], Conservation
> Administrator at the National Gallery of Art in DC.
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