I have been having a wonderful email discussion with renowned artist Joy Engelman lately about Limited Editions and her thoughts on the process. She has kindly allowed me to share some of those thoughts with you.
Our discussion came about after Joy placed an order for 10 artist’s proofs. AP’s are rare these days because of the apart from the one we do for you when we copy your original, which technically speaking I guess is the Printer’s Proof. So, why did Joy order them?
The answer was a clever one, from a marketing point of view…
I spoke with Joy about the “rules” for Limited Editions and the fact that in the last 13 years of searching, I’ve found no definitive source or set of rules that must be adhered to, it seems to be the responsibility of the artist to decide on a method that works for them.
Joy says “Oh I think in the interests of the collector, someone sometime might have tried to make an arbitrary rule, but I am all for the artist being able to make the rules otherwise where would anarchy be? But at the end of the day, an artist can always make a second edition of another run of prints if they wish.
For me, I like to keep it simple with one on paper at a good size and one on canvas at the original size with an edition of 49 of each size, signed, editioned and stamped with my mark. I keep the CofA’s in a folder to give to my children should there be a need for someone somewhere after I die to certify that the print is indeed one of mine.
But I am not even sure in the scheme of things if anyone will be really interested – life being as it is in Oz and a ‘very young’ culture in the European sense.
While everyone is running around putting systems, schemes, rules and order into place, it is the role of the artist to undermine it all and create chaos!”
“At Jayes Gallery, Orange, there are on show 5 x first edition Francisco Goyas and at Bathurst Regional they are exhibiting fifth edition Goyas. Hmmm…….
You can tell the difference by the quality of the first pull and also the artist’s markings on the works and the type of paper…. All these things add to the story and hence respective values if these survivors of time and history.
The other aspect is that if an artist chooses to run the print on silk as l have done for one work and sell these as limited edition scarves, the mere change of materials can almost make these a different artwork!? For my works, l try to retain some integrity, and differentiation between the products and the original and would not, for instance run 230 of a repro of a work.
But since copyright runs out 70 years after l die, then it could happen that a gallery eg National Gallery do that to raise funds or worse still, as in the case of Mona Lisa, be rolled out ad infinitum! All of this though can potentially make the original more desirable.
It is a minefield out there and l love it!”
Thanks Joy, love our chats!
For more information on Limited Editions, see our other post – Limited Or Open Editions – Which to Choose”