Is That Art Print Humble? : Why on earth would the butterfly, once a caterpillar, want to become a ‘worm’? The false disdain that many artists show today by not making their works available for prints is rooted in the shaky hierarchy established between the original and the print. Some have a tendency to believe that their original will lose its value, whereas it is the other way round.
In my years as an art lover, critic and now curator, Van Gogh, Monet, Modigliani and Matisse (Oh Matisse!) would not be sitting around me had it not been for that one clever thing called a ‘print’. Soon, the Bindu, at which I have looked reverently in many a place remembering SH Raza’s soft voiced commentary, will reach my desk in perfect digital print one fine day for Rs 50, 000 and stay even long after the Master is gone. For me it is no compromise at all. For a humble person like me, wanting to bring home the works of famous Indian artists, it is a fine option. Has my digital Raza affected the value of the original remains? Not at all. Anyone familiar with buying art would back me up here.
Democratization of art not only means empowering the artist, but also making all categories of art accessible to all. The very fundamental principle lies in breaking the barrier between art for the classes and art for the masses. The power of technology has made this possible. The internet has made viewing, selling and buying art a pleasure. Art portals are now the fastest possible way to touch art and to speak to the Artist.
As a curator, I would encourage more and more artists to step down from their pedestals and speak to the common man through prints, a medium he can pay for. Let your handmade paintings be showcased in high galleries where they look glorious, but also make them reach homes where they will be cherished even if they were plain old prints.
In the process of purchasing prints people discover art in their own way and start learning how to appreciate and gradually grow towards purchasing originals. Or they may even just collect prints in abundance to keep a memory of original artworks they might have seen. Prints also are a way for artists to gain more appreciation by reaching out to more people and having their art viewed more. Reaching out to the masses and entering more people’s hearts.