Well, not art itself, but the roll it has in people’s lives. Yes, we can all view wonderful art in galleries and museums, but it’s the art in people’s homes that affects most artists. Art sells to people, not museums. And it’s here we have to consider the changing value of art to the homeowner.
Why do they buy art? Well, except for the ones who see it as an investment, most want it to enhance their homes - to decorate their walls. Unlike art collectors of old, who kept buying until their walls were full, today’s buyer needs pictures or a piece of art to complete their current interior ‘look’, and this change in lifestyle means we need to rethink the roll of art.
Most people will live in more than one home during their adult life, some might remodel their homes many times over, changing the ‘look’, and the pictures or art to suit their needs or current lifestyle. Here’s where artists need a deep intake of breath because anything that doesn’t ‘fit’ the new look will be discarded. Let’s hope they don’t throw away original artworks, but they will give them away or store them in their loft - often never to be seen again!
So, for the money-earning artist, coming to terms with the fact that their work could only hold a temporary value will need a significant rethink. And this is where the significance of a giclée print comes in because it’s of a lower cost and can instantly be reproduced, it t matters less if it gets thrown away. In fact, it creates a whole different business model for the artist; the original artwork then becomes the means to produce the prints, which can be reproduced as many times as there are buyers, and the original can be kept or sold when the popularity of the prints has raised its value. Many artists now view the originals as their ‘pension fund’.
But it does mean that the artist needs to ‘invest’ in the scanning and reproduction from the start and not wait until the original sells in order to pay for it. The other advantage of majoring on prints is that there’s an ‘asset value’ that can be handed down. The prints could continue to sell long after the artist has ceased to produce new works.
Prints don’t devalue original artwork, they enable more people to enjoy it.