Art Dealer looking for feedback

General art-related discussion.
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CookBeck
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Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:04 am

Hi all,

I recently found this forum through the magic of Google Analytics (we had some clicks coming through). Great forum, really inspiring and I thought this would be a good place to ask contemporary print collectors some questions. Apologies in advance if this is against forum etiquette.

A very brief introduction, I'm an art dealer at Amsterdam-based gallery Cook & Becker http://www.candb.com and we specialize in what we call Next-gen Art. Which is often digitally made art from known & upcoming artists (or studios) who combine personal artwork with their work for the various creative industries. Our mission is to make this art and these artists more visible in the contemporary art market. Which also means trying to establish something called 'digital original prints' & creating prints at a true museum-grade level (we exclusively deal in Certified Art Giclees for example); meaning of a quality that it meets purchase standards of a serious museum, proofed and established by the artist as the 'intended final form' and guaranteed not to fade for 80-100 years.

As collectors, how much does the print quality matter to you or would you make a concession on quality if that means a lower price? Thanks in advance!
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ricv64
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Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:33 am

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kansasbbq
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Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:56 am

My advice....never compromise on print quality or packaging.
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CHR1S
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Sat Oct 06, 2012 11:41 am

ditto what kansasbbq said.
CookBeck
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Sat Oct 06, 2012 12:34 pm

Thanks for the feedback all.

Re: ricv64. I'm not sure what you're trying to say by linking that article. That forum post talks about reproduction prints (and mentions correctly that prints made from digitally created art are another thing entirely). We deal almost entirely with artists who creates art digitally or partly digital (and who doesn't these days) with the express purpose to have that print as the final intended form. Like most contemporary art photography not a process of just hitting the on switch on a printer.

I do agree that giclee printing, archival qualities, fine art etc. are all terms thrown about quite loosely making it harder for buyers to determine actual quality (much to our frustration as well).
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Sceazy
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Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:03 pm

There are many artists that can be found here that don't seem to negotiate with those 2 things at all and they seem to go hand in hand pretty well.
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wneff
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Sat Oct 06, 2012 7:48 pm

CookBeck wrote:As collectors, how much does the print quality matter to you or would you make a concession on quality if that means a lower price? Thanks in advance!
Print quality matters quite a lot but handling, packaging, and shipping matter a lot too. Collectors like to receive high quality prints, packaged with extreme care to avoid damage en route, insured to the appropriate level, and shipped promptly to the correct address. If the original printing was spectacular but the print is lost or arrives damaged, the customer will not be pleased. There are my 2 cents.
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mistersmith
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Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:04 pm

I know Alan a little bit, and respect him, but that article is fudge.
ArtBusiness wrote:The problem with [giclee printing] is fourfold. First of all, the large majority of these prints and giclees are marketed in such ways as to confuse less sophisticated buyers about whether or not they're getting original works of art. Many people mistakenly believe that they are originals.
Nonsense. I've never seen a gallery/publisher ever offer these as anything except editioned reproductions. There are unscrupulous galleries in the world doing crappy things, but guess what -- they do this with prints all the time, the specific method of publishing isn't relevant to that issue. Alan should walk into a few spots on Geary from Mason to Powell and see how those scumbags are pushing C-prints, screenprints, fake-ass Dalis and Miros and Picassos, and everything else under the sun.

And if you look at a giclee and think it's a painting, you're a goddamn idiot and were going to be fleeced of your cash somehow, someway.
ArtBusiness wrote:Second, some level of collectibility and/or investment potential is often implied by sellers, when in fact, these reproduction "giclee" copies of works of art in other mediums are little more than glorified posters.


Alan here dismisses the very idea of giclees as collectible pieces. This is his opinion and is, based on the last 5-10 years, completely unfounded in anything but a predetermined disrespect for the medium, as evidenced by the "glorified posters" bit. He only needs to visit eBay and this website to see how wrong he is.
ArtBusiness wrote:Third, the markup over production costs is often huge with the bulk of the profits going to printing companies (aka fine art publishers) and to the galleries or websites who sell these prints rather than to the artists themselves; many artists only get royalties, typically well under 20%.


I'd love to know where he got that 20% number, because I know a fudge-ton of artists that make their livings off of art, from a cash perspective primarily through prints, and none of them would ever do a deal where they only got 20%. I know publishers, and none of them would ever give an artist only 20%. And what about the artists that publish their own prints, like ZeroFriends and tons of others?

He cites nothing here, he just plunks a number down and calls it fact.
ArtBusiness wrote:Fourth, every time someone buys one of these reproduction prints or giclees, one less artist somewhere sells one less original or limited edition work of art.


Utter, utter nonsense. If this were true, it'd be true of all art prints, wouldn't it? Nobody ever stood up and said, I have $X for art today, what can someone sell me? They said, I love the work of X artist but can't ever afford an original, but I'm happy to have this print. I know artists with sold out editions, yet the original is still hanging on their own wall -- because prints and originals are different things. Alan is also neglecting that there are dedicated print collectors, and many of them don't want original art.

This argument is reminiscent of the idea that every movie/CD downloaded is one less ticket/copy sold -- which is demonstrably false. And why, exactly, is "print vs. originals" the issue? Shouldn't he be stoked that people are buying art at all?
ArtBusiness wrote:The bottom line? Many millions of dollars annually get siphoned away from artists by commercial interests who care far more about making money than they do about making art.
The bottom line? Alan should have known better. It seems as if he is of the opinion that giclees aren't "worthy" and wrote a piece around that idea, rather than accurately surveying the art world around him. I'd love to know where he got this "information." Alan personally knows far too many print-selling artists and art dealers in SF to have written something like this. I recommend he talk to them and see if he changes his mind.
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bone811
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Sat Oct 06, 2012 8:09 pm

That article is fudge, its basically propaganda and totally biased. Pretty irresponsible to just make up facts with little to no evidence to support his personal claims and lots of evidence against his argument.
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Imatruck
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Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:36 pm

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CookBeck
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Sun Oct 07, 2012 6:38 am

wneff wrote:
CookBeck wrote:As collectors, how much does the print quality matter to you or would you make a concession on quality if that means a lower price? Thanks in advance!
Print quality matters quite a lot but handling, packaging, and shipping matter a lot too. Collectors like to receive high quality prints, packaged with extreme care to avoid damage en route, insured to the appropriate level, and shipped promptly to the correct address. If the original printing was spectacular but the print is lost or arrives damaged, the customer will not be pleased. There are my 2 cents.
Interesting that. A personal annoyance of mine (as a collector), especially when I order something internationally, is if a print is delivered in a banged-up or too narrow a tube or without proper customs form so I have to pay extra upon delivery. I always make sure transportation is insured.

As for the Artbusiness article, I agree it's a bit all over the place. As an aside, in Europe you have a hallmark for Fine Art Giclee printing called Certified Art Giclee which is at least some indication of the quality level. In the US you had Tru Giclee for a while and the GPA but that doesn't seem to be so active anymore. And the IFPDA doesn't even recognize any print making technique after the disocvery of the computer according to their website :)
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