"Technique changes but art remains the same" - Claude Monet
Monet's observation is especially true in today's world where art and technology meet. The artistic process continues with the development of Giclée printing.
The word Giclée (Zhee-Clay) is a French word, in this case meaning something like tiny spray of ink". Giclée is an advanced state of the art technology that permits the creation of exceptionally high quality prints that has made a major impact in the field of art. The word has been adopted in the art world to define a new type of artist's print.
Giclée prints are widely used to make authentic copies of original paintings. In the case of photography, each print is considered to be an original because its part of the process of producing a final print, and not a copy.
Giclée printing made its first appearance around 1985 and has been embraced by many named artists such as David Hockney, Robert Rauschenberg, and Jamie Wyeth. Museums have also realized the enormous potential of Giclée's and many have made Giclée editions a permanent part of their collections. Several of these museums include:
The Metropolitan Museum (New York) The British Museum (London, England) Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Art (San Francisco), Laguna Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles) National Museum of Art, Acadian Museum (New Brunswick, Canada)
What these notable galleries and artists value in a Giclée print is the ability to produce a high quality method of painting that truly captures the artist's statement. The phenomenal ability of a Giclée to stand out as a viable art media is due to the quality of inks, high resolution, and quality of papers and canvas.
The Giclée prints have the ability to capture minute nuances and stunning tonal depth. The highlights are bright, contrasts levels are accurately controlled, and the colours are true to life. The concept of Giclée (computer controlled ink squirting) gives the impression of simplicity and ease. However, the process follows the same stages as traditional offset printing and the methods are extremely complex and time consuming.
It is interesting to note that many artists and gallery owners have been particularly concerned about longevity for watercolour reproduction, when many watercolour dyes are dye based and have very short longevity. Some traditional photographic prints are not expected to last over 30 years, which is why Richard Kraus has chosen to use the Giclée process. These Giclée prints use pigmented inks and are rated to last well over 100 years: they will stand the test of time.
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