37th Valley Visual Art Show. While there, a printmaker arrived to deliver her work and what ensued was a discussion about giclee and inkjet prints, and whether they constitute reproductions of an original piece of art. I went home to do some more research to better understand the effect of digital methods on the print continuum. As an educator, I am also interested in how developments in a field impact knowledge, practice, and in this case, definition.
And in addition to giclee and inkjet, a term relevant to this discussion is digital art, which is “art made or presented with digital technology”( http://www.tate.org.uk/learn/online-resources/glossary/d/digital-art).
Both giclee and inkjet are methods for reproducing/ making a copy of a previously existing work of art. Giclee typically is printed on archival papers (or canvas) and inkjet can even be produced by desktop and the inks are of much lesser quality. Both giclee and inkjet prints differ from printmaking methods that are the means of creating the original artwork itself (seriograph, lithography, monoprint, woodcut, silkscreen), since the artist is creating the work on the plates/surfaces.
In contrast to giclee and inket copy methods for reproductions is digital art. Digital art is the use of technology to actually create an original work.
A prime example of 2D visual art is the use of a table and drawing program by David Hockney. He creates/draws the image using the screen as substrate, then prints the final work with a printer. His artist’s statement also says, These prints “are not reproductions” (http://www.hockneypictures.com/computer_drawings/cd-statement.php). (See also: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1175521/iHockney-Artist-David-uses-Apple-phone-paint-mini-masterpieces.html.)
All of the above methods are different from collage or mixed media, as collage and mixed media might incorporate images. A distinguishing feature of collage and mixed media is that these works ultimately create new works with the images they bring together.
That said, galleries might want to clarify whether copies (reproductions) or original works only will be accepted for exhibit. And artists might consider how the varying productions and reproductions invoke different responses from viewers. #art