May
12
2010

Good Night, Sweet Prints by Wilson Bickford

Okay, ........so I know I'll probably ruffle a few feathers with this week's entry, but I'm just going to state my own personal opinions regarding art "prints". I've never been an advocate of the print market and here's why.
Is it just me or has greed taken over the print market? And I don't mean just recently, because it's always seemed that way to me.
The concept is simple enough; take an artistic image and reproduce it for mass sales at a more affordable rate to the common man.
But I fail to see the sense of charging $400 - $500 for a sheet of paper with an image of a painting on it. Especially when there are 2 or 3 thousand of them in existence.
Now, the consensus is that, "The price of the print is relative to the price of the original." The bottom line is that it's still a sheet of paper with an image of a painting on it. I can't get past that, I'm sorry.
In the old days, we had offset lithography as the main means of reproducing artwork. To get the "best price per unit," the artist had to order a very large quantity of said image. I know of several fellow artists who have stacks of prints left in storage, having sold 20 or 30 out of 1,500. Why? Because with that many around they are not really considered rare anymore and they were priced too high.
With the advent of the Inkjet printer and "Giclee’s," it seems anyone with a desktop printer is trying to make their own prints now. Of course, the advantage of this type of printing is that you can print 1, 50 or 100 and not be forced into a huge lot. You can literally "Print as you go." But, as a result it seems there are nothing but "open editions" whereby this image can be printed indefinitely and exhausted until there's no demand left whatsoever.
Does THAT add to the value?? Knowing that it's possible to replicate an unlimited number of copies kind of takes away the appeal, doesn't it?
Well, at least it does for me. Hey, it's just a sheet of paper with an image of a painting on it!

www.wilsonbickford.com

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