Several weeks ago, I was invited to participate in a collaborative arts event at a local bookstore and coffee shop in the area. Collaboration. A golden opportunity for sharing ideas and gaining inspiration for new projects. I couldn't resist.
The theme of the evening was "Failed Resolutions," and it just so happened that I had recently finished a new piece, titled "Unresolved Resolutions." It was meant to be--and it turned out to be a wonderful night of collaboration!
I think some of the blurriness can be attributed to the fact that printmaking is a form of art. Now, stick with me, "printmaking" refers to a type of art making in which the artist engraves or etches on a surface (called a 'matrix'), such as wood, metal, stone, linoleum, etc. Each print that they create from this 'matrix' is considered to be an original work of art, as each print will vary slightly due to materials used. Printmakers generally create an edition (specific number of prints). The lower the number, the more valuable (as the matrix generally wears out over time).
Now, moving onto the source of confusion--the types of prints I, and many other artists offer. Fine art reproductions, or "prints" are COPIES of original works of art. Although I do sign all of my prints, they are not original works of art. An original work of art was created by the artist's hand and has a handmade quality to it (brushstrokes, finger marks, built up surface, vibrant color). A fine art giclee print is generated by a machine (printer), based on a photographed or scanned image of the original. While prints do offer a much more affordable option for purchasing artwork and supporting artists (thank you!), they will not be able to EXACTLY reproduce those bright colors and textures that may be in the original.
So, now you may be asking yourself, should I buy prints, or save up for an original?
The answer depends on you! Before purchasing a piece, think about what draws you to that work. Is it the colors, textures, and details that the artists incorporates into the work? Do you like the original surface the artists uses? Are you absolutely IN LOVE with the image or a huge fan of a particular artist's work? If so, you might want to consider purchasing the original. However, if you are under a tighter budget, but really love a specific image, and you are more attached to the image than the details of the original work, you may wish to consider purchasing a print. Really, there are no wrong decisions. It's more a matter of personal preference.
I'll end this post with an example: To preface, I use cradled artist panel boards for most of my surfaces, which pop out from the wall and include a colorful border surrounding each piece. In addition, several of my pieces include chains or hinges. We'll use this work for my example:
I hope this post helps to clarify some confusion! If you ever have any questions or comments, feel free to post them!