Saturday, June 28, 2008

Return of the Limited Edition (Was it ever gone?)

One of the things I have observed lately is the trend back to producing limited edition reproductions. This is a trend that fell way out of favour in the 90s due to the unethical production by some publishers of outrageous numbers of offset prints marketed to the uneducated public as having investment value.
However the LE has never really gone away. Artists and small publishers of quality art prints have long realized the value of a signed and numbered exclusive edition of reproductions. There is only ever one original. It is highly unlikely that an artist - no matter how skilled - would be able (or want to) exactly duplicate a painting. Therefore, if it is a popular image - a small edition of reproductions allows more people to purchase a copy of that image while not taking away from the value and uniqueness of the original.
The rise of the giclee market offers outstanding opportunities for artists to do that in small quantities and keeping investment to a minimum.
I see this trend continuing and unfortunately probably will see the same cycle of exploitation in the marketplace at some point as well. However, quality and integrity will always be in style!

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