Sunday, March 27, 2011

Buying Art (Lesson 4) - Artist Proofs

If you attended one of the car shows that Michael and I displayed his automotive art at recently, like Performance World in Toronto or the London Custom and Speed Show, you may have heard me describe an Artist Proof with Remarque to a client.

First, we should touch on what an Artist Proof is.
  • An Artist Proof was, quite simply, exactly what it sounds like ... an individual reproduction that the artist had painstakingly gone over, or 'proofed', to ensure that there were absolutely no imperfections. 
  • Usually, the artist hand-inspected 10% of the original print run in this manner. That means, if the number of prints released was 800, he or she, would also proof and set aside another 80 Artist Proofs. 
  • These then went into the artist's personal collection and, if released to the public, had a higher value (sometime sold for up to 4 times the price of the limited edition prints).
  • In the past, art reproductions were mainly produced using two methods; as lithographs or serigraphs. In both instances, the plates were such that they deteriorated during the printing process, in turn increasing the chance of 'imperfect' prints. That is one of the reasons that lower numbers were sought after in limited edition, numbered prints — the first prints of a run were just better quality. That is why #1 was more valuable to a collector and more highly sought after than #800, for example.
  • Now-a-days, most limited edition reproductions are produced as offset lithographs or giclées. In the case of the former, the plates are made of metal and need to be destroyed at the end of the print run. Giclées are printed one at a time, with the water-based ink being sprayed onto the paper or canvas, so there are no plates. In both cases, there is little to no chance of imperfections and often, #800 is one of the first prints sold.

    Remarque painted in watercolor on painting,
    "C1, See Them All," by Michael Irvine
    Remarque painted in watercolor on painting,
    "Big Blocks Behind the Barn," by Michael Irvine

    Next, what is a 'Remarque'?
    • A Remarque is a small, personalized drawing or painting that an artist adds in the lower margin of a print. The presence of a Remarque increases the print's value.
    • Originally, Remarques were remarks made, in pencil, that identified the various stages a printing plate went through while in the process of being finalized. 
    • Nowadays, a Remarque is a 'value-added' option for print collectors. Each Remarque is a one-of-a-kind, original. 

    Remarque (client's car) drawn in pencil on painting,
    "Flashback On The Track," by Michael Irvine
    Remarque (client's car) painted in watercolor on painting
    "Feeding Frenzy," by Michael Irvine

    Finally, Michael's Artist Proofs with Remarque.
    • As I've mentioned above, there is little to no chance of imperfections when using today's technology. And, Michael checks each and every print that leaves the studio. So, in essence, all his prints are proofs.
    • Michael wanted to give collectors of Artist Proofs something truly unique and valuable. There are only 20 Artist Proofs with Remarque released with each print edition — making them very rare. They are done 'custom' per client's order.
    • Remarques can be requested done in pencil or painted in watercolor.
    • Michael numbers the Artist Proof and dates it for the date of the Remarque's completion. e.g. AP 5/20  04.13.2011. He also signs the Remarque, as well as the Artist Proof.
    • Each Artist Proof with Remarque is a one-of-a-kind original, and is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.
    An Artist Proof with Remarque is a wonderful addition to an art collection. It offers collectors an incredibly unique piece, at a fraction of the cost of an original painting. They are perfect for marking a special occasion or honoring a special friend, co-worker or family member. They are also a great way to 'get your car onto the art!'

    To learn more about Michael's Artist Proof with Remarque, click here.
    Happy art collecting! — Linda

      Friday, March 11, 2011

      Performance World Car Show - Toronto International Centre

      You can check out Michael's work in person March 11, 12 and 13 at the International Centre in Toronto, Ontario. We'll be showing prints and Gallery Edition Canvases of "C1, See Them All" and "BEEP BEEP!" for the first time! As well as the Gallery Edition Canvas of "Four–Barrel Four–Speeds With Dual Exhaust". It looks like it's going to be a great show.

      Also at the show, an amazing collection of custom hot rods, a lot of very cool muscle cars and corvettes, a display of Bullitt Mustangs covering all three generations, and a hall dedicated to the tuners! All in all, a great indoor event, perfect for a rainy weekend.

      Maybe we'll see you there. - Linda