Giclee or not to Giclee, that is the question

I don't know how many people know about this process.  It's called "Giclee" - It's a process  where an original piece of 2-D art is reproduced digitally, using an ink jet printer on a piece of paper, even canvas.  For example you make a painting, lets say its a big one.  20ft. X 30ft.  Now, you can take an image of that painting and get it printed on a canvas, 20" x 30", say 30 times. So you have 30 prints of the big one.  Some people take each one of these "prints" and hand sign them or even keep working on it.  As artists there are many types of mediums and processes.  Some artists see this as an opportunity to reach a larger audience and to make more money from there art, because they can sell the prints at a discount and leave the original at a larger price.  Some other artist are disgusted at the idea that an original painting would be duplicated on canvas, after all thats what makes a painting a painting?  The debate is quantified on both sides.  I myself have not gicleed, even when asked by a collector when the original piece had been already sold.  So what do you think Giclee or not to Giclee?

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Comment by Deborah S. Hobbs on January 27, 2012 at 5:54pm

This is an interesting topic for sure.  As a digital photographer, and painter I see the process as just another tool, I often digitally manipulate both photos and images of my paintings and when i print on paper or canvass i will often augment either with pastels, oil pastels or paint.  Is a print of a straight photo not "an original" ? is a photo itself a giclee? I also appreciate being able to afford other"s art in this form myself, my budget usually stretch to buy originals.  I can though appreciate a painter who does not make "prints", in a way keeping the art "pure" i guess.....this pro and con could go on quite awhile....

Comment by Deborah S. Hobbs on January 30, 2012 at 4:30pm

Well this is a big question.  I have dual  opinions about this myself. My first passion is with oil paints, love the smell, texture etc.  i was also a fan of photography in the days of dark rooms, chemicals etc.  THEN along came computers.  I fought the idea of mixing art and computers at all for a really long time.  THEN I started taking digital pics, wow no film, no developing, instant gratification.  I quickly started fooling around with my scanner and my old prints from my old 33mm Pentax.  Scanning then playing with one image for literally hours, morphing it into multiple different versions.  This led to printing and playing with oil pastels and paints on top of the images, producing what were really one of a kind works of art which I could not have duplicated if i had tried (except for via a print making, giclee).  So long story short there became a merging of all of these tools, I also play with images of my original oil paints, morphing them into what could be an infinite number of versions of the same original.  It was like getting into a raft on a rapid river and going full blast.  This brings us to the whole computer question again.  It has afforded me the opportunity to have a 'dark room" again without the room part.  The computer itself is changing our whole society, our world.  We can do this....and share our work with the world.  We can shop and buy from the whole world from our beds.  This is wrecking havock with the whole retail based economy that I grew up with.  Good/Bad..doesn't really play into the equation, it just is.  So though i still hold valuable my original oil paintings probably higher than the others, i do value this reproduction capability that the prints/giclees give us, as another tool, just as a paint brush.  PLUS yes I can afford to buy more art since the prints are more affordable for me, and I find that for most of the artists I know selling even a card once in awhile gives a boost of hope.   

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