What is a Fine Art Print?

What is a Fine Art Print?
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Posted in: Fine Art

A fine art print is an authorized copy of original artwork created either by the artist themselves or a skilled craftsman. Even though these prints are not the “original” piece of art and exist in multiples, they can be considered works of art in their own right. Prints are often a way for artists to make their artwork more widely available and increase their collector base.

Beverly Loan Company, also known as Pawnshop to the Stars, accepts valuable art prints as collateral for a short term loan. The luxury pawn shop specializes in modern and contemporary art by household named artists – including original paintings, works on papers, photography, sculptures, and limited edition prints.

Beverly Loan evaluates each piece of art on a case-by-case basis and has worked with all styles of art prints. There are many different types of printing techniques including screen printing, lithographs, giclée’s, etchings, and many more.

Screen printing, or serigraphy, is a process where a design is printed directly onto a screen and then ink is squeezed through silk of the screen onto paper. Arguably the most well-known style of printing, this processes was popularized by Andy Warhol and Robert Rauschenberg.

Another common type of fine art printing is lithography, a technique invented in 1798 and based on the repulsion of oil and water. Limestone is typically used as a surface and a greasy medium is used to draw an image, it is then wetted and paper is flattened on the stone to reproduce the image perfectly. Henri Toulouse-Lautrec is one of the most famous lithographers, although many contemporary artists use this process today.

The most standard art print in the modern world is called a giclée. These digital prints are made on inkjet printers and use the CMYK color model. Artists like this technique because they can take total control on the production of their images, including the material that the work is being printed on, and final color correction. Artist Gerhard Richter and photographer Bob Carlos Clarke are examples of artists who command very high prices at auction for their giclée prints.

Etching, a method of intaglio printing, involves drawing on a metal plate and using acid to expose the design, where it is then inked to transfer onto paper. There are many variations of this process, like aquatint, which uses a tone process to get a softer effect, like watercolor – this technique was used considerably by Spanish painter Goya. Etching combined with engraving was favored by Rembrandt, and Pablo Picasso was fan of etching, especially in the later years of his life.

Loan officers at Beverly Loan Company often see various editions of a print. An edition of a print, no matter the format, is a number of prints created at the same time. Most modern artists have ‘limited editions’, or a fixed number of impressions produced. These editions are usually numbered and signed by the artist. The smaller the edition, like print 2 out of 10, is usually more valuable than a print with a larger edition, like print 2 out of 500. An ‘unlimited edition’, or ‘open edition’ is a way to make a piece of art available and more affordable to everyone, but unfortunately Beverly Loan only purchases, sells and loans against limited edition prints.

Sometimes you’ll hear of an ‘artist’s proof’, which started as a few prints that were set aside for artists to sell personally to make a little money from the prints. Nowadays artists are paid for their editions, but some are still put aside as ‘artists proofs’ for them to do whatever they’d like with.

For inquiring about a fine art collateral based loan with Beverly Loan Company, it is important to contact them at 310-275-2555 or art@beverlyloan.com. It is imperative that artwork has a provenance, including certificates of authenticity, auction records, appraisals, gallery receipts, etc. It is asked that you provide those records and any available photographs before visiting their location in Beverly Hills.

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