Have you ever thought about why art has been replicated. What benefits has it given us, and has it hurt art in any way, because of it.
So lets get on the Soap-Box and get down to the nitty-gritty on the replication of art, and simply..... what it means to you.
Lets go back to the time where there were no replications of art work; with the exception of the artist having to re-do another copy of their own art. So in a fact, you could hardly call it a replica, could you............. as any art re-done, will always be a bit different, by the artist hand.
Artists would painstakingly do their work and sell them piece by piece. Now, there were the times when someone would see this same art piece and want one for their very own. That's where the artist would have to go back to the start, and re-paint or sculpt their art work, all over again.
If you were an artist of means, and already had a reputation - you could get one of your (underlings), your apprentice artists to re-do your art work for you. And the main artist might just add the finished touches to the art work, to add their style.
Its no different to the writers of books in the Olden days. There were no printing presses in those days.
So it was the monks in the monasteries that devoted much of their time to hand writing all the pages of a book. That's right! - writing all those pages. Tedious work, when you think that you have just finished the last page of a book, and your instructions were to write the whole book all over again. Would make you feel as though you would want to through the book out the window. But being a monk, I'm sure they were devoted to their work, or they had a strong constitution.
So... as you could imagine, works of art would have been quite expensive for an original. Of course there were the exceptions, if you were an artist with no name. Selling your piece of art work for a pittance could well have gone on in those days and not so long ago either. Lets face it! the more well known an artist became, the higher the price they can ask for their art work.
With the emergence of the Industrial revolution, the printing press and the like. Mechanization came about. Now, in the earlier days, they weren't clever enough to replicate forms such as art. And art replication didn't really come into full force, as it has done these days.
Compared to the written word. Books have been sold to the masses for many years now. With the printing press, came the ability to print off many a book at a cheep and fast amount. (beats writing a whole book over and over again).
Oh' I have neglected to say that the form of sculpture, had succeeded to be replicated into editions long ago in the form of "hot cast bronze". But I can say that even today, the process of casting in bronze is still an intricate and expensive business. I know... getting a cast finished bronze sculpture out of the foundry, still cost a pretty penny today!
So... books became cheaper, because of the emergence of the printing press, thus, books were able to be sold at a much cheaper price, and this lead to the average person with a meager amount of money being able to afford buying books. So more education to the masses. Yippee!
So, as the emergence of copying came about with paintings, in the form of printers, and how they have advanced these days. It's great for the artist! now we can have reprinted art prints, in limited editions our art work, sketches too. Copies of our work to be sold at a much cheaper price, and this sells more of our art work. Making it so much more viable for artists to bring in more money.
But it also has its down side... every artist can sell their art in such a way, having their work reproduced fat very competitive prices. There are many companies popping up on the internet these days. Offering artists the ability to re- produce their art work in exquisite reproductions.
So here comes the masses. The competition, more and more art can be bought by the public, and there is allot to choose from. Artists compete with each other, especially on the internet, where you sell your art prints beside other fellow artists. Now don't get me wrong. There has always been competition when it comes to anyone doing the same thing, Whether it be blacksmithing or trade. And is comes down to the taste of the public, your style of work. and depicting what might sell at the time.
What is does give to the artist, is the chance to sell their works at a lower price and in multitude. Now being a buyer of art as well, yes.. us artists do love buying other artists works as well.
If I saw a piece of art work and wanted one for myself, I now have the chance to buy one. If the original had sold, no problem.... buying one of the limited editions is not only cheaper; its also just of the same quality. Bearing in mind..... once the limited edition is sold out, you have to go back to hunting around for someone who owns one of the prints and wants to re-sell it. So don't be complacent in ordering your limited edition copy of art when you see it.
What Art Replication means for the Future
The replication of art is here to stay, and it gives anybody the chance of owning their own beloved art piece, and that's really good. Not only does it gain a new following and appreciation of art with people who might have very well ignored the world of art, because they couldn't afford it. Or stand, with their faces staring up at the wall at galleries, admiring works of art they would otherwise not be able to own themselves..
And maybe we may cringe a little at not owning an original painting. But who would go out and mortgage their house for one of these famous paintings, don't think so.
Limited edition prints are gaining their own worth as well. So be proud to have one. And when the limited edition sells out, then you have an investment that will gain in price as it gets older. And if the artist becomes more well known.
I welcome the emergence of reproduction art, and the chance it has given everyone to be able to own their own art works. It not only make art more accessible to the people. It helps people gain appreciation of art.
Art and the replication of it has come of age, and there is no better chance for the person on the street to become an art collector in their own right. I for one applaud this!
Sure, its given the artist competition out there, sure there are reproductions out there that grace many walls and mantle pieces. And it opens up the opportunities for the public to own different art works for themselves.
No longer does the artist have to hard sell their work, because they have put so much work into their art; and a hefty price tag to boot! we can relax and sell our art work in the knowledge that it wont break the bank for people to buy a piece of our art work. And the spreading of so much more art work around the world can only make life not only much more colorful and interesting. It brings your senses more to life with such art work around their own homes.
With more of the appreciation of art going to the people, not only delights the senses, it also feeds our interests. Say if you were interested in landscapes, or a specific animal. Having those replications of you interests in the form of art, there for you to enjoy in your own space and show off to others, gives allot of self satisfaction.
So go out there, or surf on the web and get your next art piece, there has never been a better time to start collecting, at a more affordable price, variety and choice. Happy Buying! or should I say Art Collecting.
Permission to reproduce if byline stays intact, courtesy copy appreciated; not required.