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17/02/2015

Five reasons to become a fine art prints collector

Five reasons to become a fine art prints collector

There are many techniques of artistic creation. From painting to sculpture, installations and video art, the world of fine art is very broad. But within the visual arts we can also find the printmaking, which in turn forms a wide range of techniques and procedures. In our post "All you need to know to when buying fine art prints" we talked about this kind of works. Now, in this post we will give good reasons to start a collection of fine art prints.

1. Affordable prices for everyone

Yes, you can collect art without spending astronomical amounts of money. Sometimes, not knowing about the existence of the graphic works makes many people interested in art not to even think about the possibility of having an original work in their home.

Many are the factors that influence the price of a work. In the prints case the medium used, the number of copies forming the edition or the size of the work may be some features to consider when making acquisitions. Obviously, the artist’s demand what finally determines the price of the work. We can acquire serigraphs by Shepard Fairey for $ 50, but also for 1000. The size, edition, signature or year, are the key to assessing the work of any artist.

2. It can be a very profitable investment

As we mentioned in our article "Rebellion as an engine of artistic creation in the twentieth century", Andy Warhol revolutionized the art market using print media industry to create some of his most important works. During those years many of these limited edition works were affordable for the average citizen. The prints he made with the Factory in 1967 are being sold today from $ 100,000 each and a complete portfolio consisting of 10 Marilyns can cost a million and a half dollars.

Just a few years ago Banksy sold some of his screen prints such as "Christ with Shopping Bags" or "Love is in the air" for 500 and 100 pounds respectively. The media impact that this urban artist has had in the last decade led to such a demand that the same serigraphs reached sale prices of $ 20,000 each when they were auctioned at Bonhams in 2012. Banksy’s value has risen so much that we can find unnumbered and unsigned prints in galleries for several thousand euros. We must not skip the fact that the works of many nowadays emerging artists can be worth a fortune in the future.

3. We can find a guide in catalogues raisoneés

If you have an interest in starting a fine art prints collection, it can be overwhelming to have excessive information: styles, artists, galleries ... Sometimes it is hard to know where to start and set a goal. Many artists have their own catalogue raisonné of graphic works. In these catalogues it is specified the year, printer and/or editor and most important features of each. The collector can consult these catalogues and make sure that what he or she is buying corresponds what’s specified. Catalogues help us to structure and organize our collection. They can also be a very useful tool, not only to know more about a specific work, but also to know more about the complete graphic work of an artist.

4. Multiple mediums to focus the collection

The engraving, screen printing, lithography ... it is not unusual to find collectors who only acquire works of a particular technique. Finishes vary and each medium is not mastered by all the artists. For example, artists like Antoni Clavé or Andrés Nagel are considered master engravers for their impressive usage of the etching. The Takashi Murakami lithographs are noted for having very refined finishes and for using in his creations not so conventional modern procedures. Martin Whatson hand tweaked some of their limited editions and has a profile collector interested only in acquiring these works. Pure Evil, also with a large number of loyal collectors, makes his serigraphs of the "Nightmares" series always using the same paper with the same measurements, just thinking of those who collect his prints.

5. Ability to acquire very exclusive works

As mentioned, one of the factors that influence the price of printmaking is the limited number of prints in the edition. But this is a relative value, as this could be a big issue for an artist but may not be so for another with a higher demand. In addition, many artists work individually on each of the copies of the edition, so through the incorporation of additional mediums such as acrylic and collage, they give each number a greater exclusiveness that gives each print a unique character.

Besides these ones, there are many other reasons why more and more people are committed to make their own collection of fine art prints. The variety of techniques, the many different styles and the difficulty of finding certain pieces make this activity really exciting.

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