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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Driven by Passion


By Savitha Hira
Photographs: Courtesy Art Intaglio

Artist: Paresh Maity

While one very comfortably accepts the value of printing techniques on artefacts, is it really so complex for one to understand the value of printmaking as a fine work of fine art? Art print connoisseur Dilip Ghevaria gets candid about the perception of print making…

A fine art print is more like a poster to the uninformed. The layman’s perception of printmaking is way far behind and the price tussle always resurfaces – why is this print lesser in monetary value than the painting,when both are original works of art and both hold equal emotional worth.“Well, the simple and most logical answer to this is that because prints exist in multiples, given all things equal, the cost of a print is cheaper than that of a painting,” informs Dilip Ghevaria, Art Print Collector and now Print Publisher.

Artist: Haku Shah

Artist: Jamini Roy

Actually, limited edition, numbered and signed, original graphic prints or fine art prints are equally respected and equally valued as much as paintings,” he continues. “In fact, contrary to general belief, over a period of time, prints appreciate too!”

Artist: Akbar Padamsee

Artist: Manjit Bawa

With almost 20 years devoted to assessing and collecting art prints, Dilip has brushed shoulders with various calibres in different genres of printmaking – woodcuts, lithographs, etchings, intaglio, serigraphs etc. In fact, one of the main reasons that he switched from collector to promoter, and decided to commercialize his hobby was because he went overboard with his collection. Taking good care of sustaining his collector’s eye, he decided to enter into serious commerce, whereby he could share with others the prints that he had enjoyed and cherished for long. From stalwarts like M. F. Husain, S.H. Raza, Manjit Bawa, and Jehangir Sabavala to whizzes like Sakti Burman, Paresh Maity, Jogen Chowdhury, and T. Vaikuntam, to name a few; to mid-career artists like Rahim Mirza, Ravi Kumar Kashi, etc., his company under the aegis of Art Intaglio promotes printmaking as the most democratic medium of aesthetic appreciation.

Artist: M.F.Husain

Artist: S.H.Raza

Artist: T.Vaikuntam

A step forward has been his decision to publish select portfolios –Prokash Karmakar, Achyut Palav, and Yogesh Rawal among others. His most recent activity that has received wide critical appreciation has been the publishing of a print portfolio of students of Sir J. J. School of Art, Mumbai.

Artist: Ravi Kumar Kashi

Artist: Gouri Vemula

Driven more by passion than profession, he cautions all collectors and urges them not to purchase for investment. “Treat appreciation as incidental,” he says. At the same time, he advises that one must insist on a formal invoice and an authenticity certificate for one’s purchase. Quoting M. F. Husain, “A print is for people with more taste than money”, Dilip reinstates that art buying is a matter of one’s eyes and heart – “So quit provoking the head”, he laughs, “And make sure that the work of art will find pride of place on your wall and not in your warehouse!”

Artist: Jogen Chowdhury

Artist: Rahim Mirza


11 comments :

  1. Think how limited the field of fine art through the centuries would be with only paintings but no engravings, lithographs and other forms of prints.
    Posted by TOM SAPINSKI on Linkedin Group: Fine Art Research in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Can one really equate the value of a graphic print to that of a painting?

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  2. Perhaps I am prejudiced but having taught print-making for years I see no reason to consider quality original prints (intaglio, wood-cuts, serigraph & litho) as anything other than Fine Art. The challenge of the mastery of the print has been with us for ages. It has its rightful place in the visual arts. One cannot make a blanket statement regarding value between a graphic piece and a painting. There are numerous examples of original graphics that are far more expensive (and valuable) than the original paintings of some lesser known artists. Photo-mechanical reproductions may cloud the issue for a portion of the general public but that fact creates a teachable moment.
    Posted by Don Rankin on Linkedin Group: Landscape Painters in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Can one really equate the value of a graphic print to that of a painting?

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  3. Why is there this constant anxiety to explain the unexplainable, if we knew what art was, we would do it, so instead we paint sculpt, draw do prints, do everything including selling our soul to freely express ourselves, no one knows what art is! We have wave after wave in the passing of time of various new forms of expression, each certain it is art and confirmed by those who seem to convince a lot of people they know, yet it all is usurped by a 5 year old from Australia, who is making some gallery oner very happy as some of her pieces are selling for $24,000, if I were a contemporary, cutting edge artist, I would cut my throat. Last year there was an 11 year old in England who was doing traditional landscapes, selling in a gallery for thousands of Pounds, so, what is art, Art at this particular time in our history is what money says it is. This includes all those who make their living pronouncing art theories while at the same time completely allergic to the making of art or the creative process, the like to convince us they know so as to maintain their lovely life style. When money talks the world takes notice.
    Posted by J. Allison Robichaud on Linkedin Group: Landscape Painters in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Can one really equate the value of a graphic print to that of a painting?

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  4. A well written article. The author obviously appreciates fine art printmaking and printmakers. However they missed an important point that is often overlooked in discussions on print making. There is a difference between a printed reproduction of a painting and a fine art print. There is a difference between a printer and a printmaker.A printer is merely a technician who produces a facsimile of something created in another medium. A printmaker takes advantage of properties of the printing process that can not be replicated in any other medium to create something that looks uniquely like a print. I've had extensive training in printmaking processes, and it annoys me to see printed reproductions referred to as prints and the artists referred to as printmakers. And, now that I'm thinking along this line, artists who call themselves a printmakers should be capable of running their editions on their own without the aid of a printer.
    Thank you Pradarshak for posting this article. It looks like you've touched a sensitive nerve in me! :)
    Posted by Ross Michaels on Linkedin Group: Portrait Painters in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Can one really equate the value of a graphic print to that of a painting?

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. I appreciate your views. This is precisely the reason why on our website, we have classified prints, as Reproductions, Original Graphic Prints, Fine Prints, and Photographs, right on the the home page upfront. Often senior artists, do their own matrix, but need help of a young printmaker, to pull out prints, as they are physically not so capable to carry it out on the press due to age factor. We consider it as OK, as far as the artist has participated in it.

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  5. Excellence in my mind has the same value whether its a painting or original print ( wood cut, etching etc.). The art world may attach different monetary values based on individual preferences which in no way diminishes the artistic merrit of the print. Perhaps the abundance of reproductions of paintings has detrimentally affected the perception of the value of the original print.
    Posted by Peter Filzmaier on Linkedin Group: Landscape Painters in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Can one really equate the value of a graphic print to that of a painting?

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  6. VALOR Y PRECIO SON DOS CONCEPTOS QUE NO TIENEN EL MISMO SIGNIFIACADO.EL VALOR LLEVA IMPLICITO UN CONTENIDO INTANGIBLE QUE SEGUN SEA SU NATURALEZA DETERMINARÁ EL PRECIO. EN EL CASO DE LOS OBJETOS DE ARTE ESPECIFICAMENTE DE LOS PICTORICOS TIENEN UN TRATAMIWNTO JURÍDICO DE PROTECCION EN CUANTO AL DERECHO DE AUTOR Y ESTE PODRÁ MANEJAR SUS OBRAS TENIENDO EN CUENTA ESTE MARCO JURÍDICO Y ESTE MANEJO DETERMINARÁ EL USO QUE EL DE ESTE DERECHO POR EJEMPLO UNA OBRA ORIGINAL PODRÁ SER IMPRESA GRAFICAMENTE Y TENER UN VALOR IGUAL AL ORIGINAL SI ES SU IMPRESIÓN HECHA DENTRO DE UNOS TÉRMINOS LIMITADOS DE PROPIEDAD Y CIRCULACION.EN CUANTO AL PRECIO ESTE ESTA DETERMINADO POR LA FAMA DEL AUTOR Y EL RECONOCIMIENTO ARTÍSTICO QUE TENGA LA OBRA Y POR SUPUESTO SU AUTOR CORDIAL SALUDO JORGE VERNANDO VERGEL BASTOS Y MARY EMMA BASTOS ALVAREZRECIO ESTE ES DETERMINADO POR EL VALOR E IMORTANCIA DE LA OBRA.
    translated:VALUE AND PRICE ARE TWO ITEMS THAT DO NOT HAVE THE SAME VALUE SIGNIFIACADO.EL implies a INTANGIBLE CONTENTS NATURE WHATSOEVER AS TO DETERMINE THE PRICE. IN THE EVENT OF WORKS OF ART ARE SPECIFICALLY FOR A PICTORIAL TRATAMIWNTO LEGAL PROTECTION AS TO COPYRIGHT AND THIS WILL MANAGE THEIR WORKS THIS CONSIDERING LEGAL AND HANDLING THIS WILL DETERMINE YOUR USE OF THIS LAW FOR EXAMPLE A ORIGINAL WORK MAY BE PRINTED graphically HAVE A VALUE EQUAL TO ITS ORIGINAL PRINT IF MADE WITHIN ONE PROPERTY lIMITED TERMS AS TO PRICE AND CIRCULACION.EN THIS IS DETERMINED BY THE AUTHOR OF FAME AND RECOGNITION HAVE ARTISTIC WORK AND AUTHOR OF COURSE YOUR CORDIAL GREETING VERNANDO GEORGE AND MARY EMMA VERGEL BASTOS ALVAREZRECIO CLUBS THIS IS DETERMINED BY THE VALUE OF THE WORK AND IMORTANCIA.
    Posted by MARY EMMA BASTOS ALVAREZ on LinkedIn Group: Architecture in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Can one really equate the value of a graphic print to that of a painting?

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  7. The key word in the question is "value". Since it was not specified we must look at it from it's multiple options. Dollar Value for original graphics is historically lower than paintings for new works by artist's in a comparable price or reputation level. The size of the edition reduces prices the more there are. So a limited edition of 10 can be priced much higher than an edition of 150. Some types of printing processes show wear in the image if they exceed a certain quantity anyway. So editions stay under that stage of degradation. Size is certainly relevant as is 1 color, 2 color. 3 color, 4 color, 5 color etc. The time in developing the the composition and average time to pull each print is certainly relevant. The 'commission', if any can effect the price at retail as apposed to a sale out of an artist's studio. Packing & Shipping may be a factor. Other overhead such as : fees or compensation for printing paid to assistants; price per sheet of paper; inks; blotters; equipment cost and depreciation,; heat; electric; water; local taxes; studio insurance; auto expense; miscellaneous studio & office supplies; interest on credit, promotion / advertising expenses; telephone, internet and cable; plus computer, software,accessories, & fees; A portion of all this overhead should be a part of pricing an entire edition or individual prints. There are other expenses but these are comparable to the painter's studio as well with obvious specific materials & equipment differences. So there is a lot of math that can enter into a profitable sale as apposed to 'What You Can Get For It' pricing. Established prices will be a big factor as collectors don't want to see a picture at reduced prices under what they paid for an identical item. What may be listed in an exhibit catalog should be consistent if not occasionally appreciating to show investment conscious owners that your work is growing in value. 5% to10% above inflation annually is not a bad start. Other major recognition, awards, etc should appreciate prices accordingly ... soon after they occur. Significant career milestones can double prices.

    Aesthetic Value can be as simple as : Better to Best compositions of a set size & medium should get higher priced than those still suitable to sell but not as accomplished. Auctions show that is the case with stronger works bringing higher prices. It's just like when they ask higher prices for cars with more accessories while it's the same basic model. One teacher I had charged by the square inch. His work then seemed to get larger. Other pricing is based on local market conditions. A strong picture in a Philadelphia area gallery will usually sell for many times more in a New York City gallery. Overhead for everyone involved is much higher there and the patrons per capita are also wealthier. Galleries with exceptional reputations only handle established and very capable artists or they would loose their clientele to the stiff competition . High quality expensive frames in these galleries is commensurate with the expectations of their clientele which of coarse drives prices prices up as well.

    Comparing graphics to paintings therefore is not simple if at all practical as far as values.
    To most it's apples & oranges. There are a great many details to compare and try to balance
    as the above categories suggest. A students who've paid for teacher assistance to complete their prints or paintings is not a comparison to artists no longer in school that take 100% responsibility for their efforts though neither group has a reputation yet. The latter may hold a higher value assuming works being compared are similar in medium and size. Personally I compare on reputation & aesthetics first and foremost.
    Posted by William J. Greenwood on Linkedin Group: Landscape Painters in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Can one really equate the value of a graphic print to that of a painting?

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  8. Art is art for whatever audience and whatever visual, audio or sensual taste. To try to equivocate between arts in style, or medium, is, in my opinion, a fools errand.
    Posted by joel clary on Linkedin Group: Design Architects in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Can one really equate the value of a graphic print to that of a painting?

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  9. Why equate value with money when it comes to art. Don't we have enough lessons from the past about prints and paintings that were ignored by the establishment but prized by a few patrons who saw the artistic merrit in the artists work. Does it have to be worth it's weight in gold to be valuable? Art transcends money. it is intuitively spiritual in nature, it is universal it needs no language to be understood. It doesent need to be compared to be valued.
    Posted by Peter Filzmaier on Linkedin Group: Landscape Painters in response to IAnD's discussion thread: Can one really equate the value of a graphic print to that of a painting?

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  10. Of course, a great number of prints are more highly valued by collectors than are countless paintings... because of who did them, how many were made, how many are left, and, because there are collectors who value them more highly - despite the fact artists have intentionally created them to meet a wider market with a more affordable product. As much as anyone, artists are responsible for print media being less valued than original oils, because they wanted to sell more art.

    As an artist who has created many paintings and made some serigraphs I value both paintings and prints. Painting is much more immediate, direct and dimensional. Oil paint on linen is a more enduring media than most print media. Of the 2 processes I prefer painting in oils, because it is not repetitive nor mechanical. I believe viewers innately sense these differences and collectors prefer one-of-kind works simply because they cannot be duplicated.

    Print-making is generally done with the intent of creating multiple images. This motive in and of itself results in works of varying technical quality. Depending on the print media, the image may deteriorate through the process of creating an edition, so within a given edition, the earliest prints are valued more highly. Artist's proofs are often valued even more highly. Hence, the valuation of prints is a function of how many are printed, who printed them (the artist, a highly respected printer or print house, etc.), their number within the edition, and the varying qualities of any given print. They have inherent, directly measurable differences that make a difference to collectors. Generally, this is not the case with oil paintings, unless the artist decides to paint the same composition, in the same way, more than once.

    People always have, and will always desire to be the first, have first choice, have the most durable, the best of the bunch, and, especially *have the only one* (particularly if they have money). For many it has nothing to do with one art form being valued as highly as another, it's just human nature. We could be talking cars, food, clothing, doesn't matter...

    A simple and reasonable analogy is found in why we value gold over silver, if we set all differences aside, (as this article suggests we do when valuing prints vs. original oils)... gold is more scarce.

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