Do you have an artist statement?
Are there articles/interviews about your work?
Have you won any awards?
Are your prints signed?
Are your prints from an edition?
How is the value of a print determined?
Do your prints come with a Certificate of Authenticity?
Is the entire edition printed in advance?
What processes are used to make fine art prints?
Why are your images printed digitally? How does the quality compare?
How are prices set in the fine art photography world?
What is art?
Do you have an artist statement? (return to top)
There is a famous story of a master pianist playing a grand piece while his student sits quietly enthralled by what he hears. After the piece is finished the student looks at the master and asks, "What does it mean?". The master looks at the student and says, "It means this..." and begins to play the piece again.
Having said that, here it is anyway (will open in a new window).
Are there articles/interviews about your work? (return to top)
Yes, you can read some of them in the Interviews section here.
Have you won any awards? (return to top)
Yes, please see the awards section here.
Are your prints signed? (return to top)
Yes. In the early days when photographers were not working within the context of an art market, photographic prints may not have been signed. Such instances are usually well documented and most dealers or auction houses will provide provenance (ownership history) to justify the attribution of the work to the particular artist. Today, it would be extremely unusual for a photographer not to sign his or her photographs. They may be signed on the back (verso) or front (recto) of the image and the signature may or may not be hidden by the mount. Some people prefer not to see the signature, it’s a personal preference. The signature can be in pencil or in ink, and sometimes the prints will also be titled and dated.
Are your prints from an edition? (return to top)
Yes. The market for photography only really began in the 1970’s, and even then just a handful of galleries were exhibiting and selling photographic prints. As a result photographers did not tend to number their work in an edition prior to that time, as they were more likely to be printing for a museum show or for reproduction in a newspaper, a magazine, or book. In fact many photo-journalists (a profession that has been responsible for a great many of the most acclaimed and sought-after prints) are steadfast even today in refusing to edition their work, believing it to be a construct of the fine art market. You are much more likely to find younger, more contemporary photographers editioning their work, operating from the beginning of their careers in the gallery art market. Edition size can vary from three to a hundred (sometimes more), and this number can depend on the level of work involved in each print, but is more likely simply the personal preference of each artist.
How is the value of a print determined? (return to top)
Ultimately, the value of a particular print is decided by many factors: the stature and reputation of the artist, whether the particular image is considered to be important in terms of their career as a whole, whether it was made in their lifetime and signed, what condition the print is in and of course the perceived "desirability" of that particular image.
Do your prints come with a Certificate of Authenticity? (return to top)
Yes. When selling a "multiple" the law requires the seller to provide a "Certificate of Authenticity." A "multiple" is defined as any fine print, photograph, sculpture cast, collage, or similar art object produced in more than one copy. A fine print or "print" means a multiple produced by, but not limited to, engraving, etching, woodcutting, lithography and serigraphy and multiples produced or developed from photographic negatives or any combination thereof.
This certificate must state all of the following: the name of the artist; if the artist's name appears on the multiple, a statement whether the multiple was signed by the artist personally; a description of the medium or process; as the total number of multiples, including proofs, of all other editions produced from that master; the year the multiple was produced must be stated; whether the multiple is being offered as a limited edition, and if so: (1) the authorized maximum number of signed or numbered impressions or both in the edition, (2) the authorized maximum number of unsigned or unnumbered impressions or both, in the edition, (3) the authorized maximum number of artist's publisher's or other proofs, if any, outside of the regular edition and (4) the total size of the edition.
There have many abuses by dealers, and others, in the sale of multiples. The law is designed to hold the dealer/seller to high standards of disclosure in order to avoid fraud as well as mistakes in sales.
Is your entire edition printed in advance? (return to top)
No. It’s important to remember though that each photograph is handmade, there is no production line generating hundreds or thousands of prints. Most photographs are made to order, based on a firm sale, and as such you are unlikely to find a great stockpile of even the most well-known artists’ work. Also, the cost of printing the full 60 prints for each edition for each image immediately, would be prohibitive.
What processes are used to make fine art prints? (return to top)
Most fine art photographs today are printed from a negative onto silver gelatin paper or digitally onto specially made archival photo paper. There are however over 20 different techniques of printing from a negative and many different kinds of digital printing. All my images are printed onto specially made photographic paper designed specifically for digital printing and rated to be equal to or greater longevity that traditional silver gelatin printing. To go to Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. to learn about the longevity of digital papers, please click here. If you don’t recognise or understand the description of the medium, ask for a definition of the process. You will find a short glossary of processes and print terms by clicking here.
Why are your images printed digitally? How does the quality compare? (return to top)
After spending literally cumulative years standing over toxic trays of chemicals in a small room with a red light glowing on me I was extremely happy to have digital printing reach a point, a few years ago, where it surpassed even my best efforts at traditional darkroom prints. The final piece of the puzzle, without which I would not have switched, was the issue of archival museum quality longevity of the prints.
The freedom now to fine tune a print digitally, really being able to generate an image that my mind's eye truly saw, is a tremendous boost to creativity and a fantastic time saver. I will only miss the darkroom in a fuzzy nostalgic, glad-it's-gone kind of way.
All my prints are made from drum scanned negatives (or slides), printed onto archival paper using Epson pigmented inks whose longevity is rated equal to or better than traditional silver gelatin prints
The quality of the giclee print rivals traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes and is commonly found in museums, art galleries, and photographic galleries.
The market for pigmented ink photographs is now equal to that of traditional silver gelatin prints. Numerous examples of giclee prints can be found in New York City at the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Chelsea Galleries. Recent auctions of giclee prints have fetched $10,800 for Annie Leibovitz, $9,600 for Chuck Close, and $22,800 for Wolfgang Tillmans (April 23/24 2004, Photographs, New York, Phillips de Pury & Company.)
How are prices set in the fine art photography world? (return to top)
Basically through supply and demand. Prices for living photographers are set by the artist and should be the same in any gallery around the world (subject to currency fluctuation and local taxes).
What is art? (return to top)
A difficult question that usually fires up long debates. Let's start with a few of my favorite quotes:
-A to-the-point quote from Saul Bellow: "What is art but a way of seeing?”
-Something more cynical by the brilliant Frank Zappa: “Art is making something out of nothing and selling it.”
-About vision, which applies nicely to art, by Jonathan Swift: “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.”
-About creativity which applies nicely to art, by the God of Dilbert, Scott Adams: “Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”
-And lastly, a more philosophical one by Jean-Luc Godard: "Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self."
Sir Roger Penrose, one of the foremost scientists of our time, when faced with a similar problem with regard to the definition of consciousness, states in his The Emperor's New Mind, "I do not think that it is wise, at this stage of understanding, to attempt to propose a precise definition of consciousness, but we can rely, to good measure, on our subjective impressions and intuitive common sense as to what the term means ..." The same seems to hold for art: you and I know what it is when we see it, but a definition is quite something else.
Arthur Danto, Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University, believes that, "you can't say something's art or not art anymore. That's all finished." In his book, After the End of Art, Danto argues that after Andy Warhol exhibited simulacra of shipping cartons for Brillo boxes in 1964, anything can be art.
Anything could be a work of art. That gives us a lot of freedom in looking at, enjoying, or creating art.
What makes a painting a work of art? According to the Institutional Theory of Art, "Painters make paintings, but it takes a representative of the art-world to make a work of art." Whether something is art depends on whether someone thinks it is.
Beginning with Monet and Cézanne and continuing on to the Cubists and to Mondrian, there is a clearly detectable growth of the realization that art need not represent or symbolise anything else at all, but rather that it may involve the creation of something new, "a harmony parallel to that of nature" - as Cézanne put it.
Art can be made by any of us. It need not result in museum-quality work; it can be only an elaboration of an ordinary object: a hair style rather than plain hair, fashion rather than a simple covering to keep warm, decorating rather than filling a room with furniture. We can all dance, sing, and doodle; some just do these better than others.
Art is appreciated by all of us. We need no special knowledge or sensory apparatus or experience to respond to a rhythm, a tune, a series of bright colors, a monumental building, or a parade. We can all be thrilled and soothed by art.
Art is a species-specific behavior which can be used for social manipulation. All of us are subject to art's whims. Art can direct thinking, beliefs, and behavior. Art is a means to educate, subjugate, subvert, and convert. Art has this power because it can tap into and use our reflexive responses to natural, biologically relevant stimuli. We are unable to control these responses. We do not even realize what is happening.
Enjoy the debate...