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Art Prints: The Michigan Art Multiples Sales Act

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You might like to have a look at expert  Skip Natzmer’s comments on this Michigan law dealing with art prints.  It includes this paragraph:

This clause forces the seller of ‘‘limited edition’’ ‘‘giclee’’ prints, now the most common form of reproduction, to disclose that they are not original prints. ‘‘Giclee’’ is simply a French word for ‘‘ink spray,’’ or another term for the ink jet printer. The fraud and misrepresentation in marketing these reproductions is surpassing the earlier abuses described above. To make a giclee print one merely scans the existing artwork, or a photo of it, into a computer and then prints it. Next, it is signed and numbered on the margin. Giclees are also being printed on canvas to resemble paintings. The creative input of the artist is limited to perhaps altering some colors, then pushing the print button. Discussing these prints one author states: ‘‘But these are not ‘prints’ in the way anyone in the professional art community would define them. These are reproductions—nothing more than fancy photocopies.’’ ‘‘The signed-reproduction market is a ruse,’’ says Toronto art dealer Donald Robinson, ‘‘and the problem is convincing the uninformed art buyer that these are not original prints.’’17 At prices often exceeding $1,000 per print, it is an expensive ruse.

Written by Michael Booth

January 29, 2009 at 10:46 am

One Response

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  1. I have been following this disucssion on several threads and forums. I am an artist who offer “giclee reproductions” of my original oil paintings. I have no problem calling them “giclee reproductions” and I do on my website. But I want to let you all know that I feel many of you approach this subject in a very negative way at times.

    I agree that fraud should be stopped and people that misrepresent what they are selling should be corrected, exposed, and maybe even held accountable. However, many on this forum are attacking the Giclee itself and not the giclee frauds. Giclees are not crap but that is the impression I get from some of you when you talk about things like a “no giclee” symbol or when you use terms like “fancy photocopies” or “facsimilies”. That approach is negative and you will alienate even honest artists who want to work with you guys on this issue. Some suggestions on this forum for combating the problem have been more positive such as trying to educate people on the differences in printing techiniques. You have something to market in that your prints have a human touch – thats a big selling point! You should market that. Just don’t make that education about how crappy Giclees are compared to your prints. You need to include in uyour education the finer points of Giclees too.

    I must tell you that I would like to work with you guys on this issue, as an artist offering giclee reproductions, but if its your goal to educate the world so that Giclees are viewed as inferior, low quality, to be feared products that a person would be foolish to buy, then I would have to go against you.

    So my questions to you is… how would you help an honest artist, like myself, market his “giclee reproductions” so they are viewed, like you want your prints to be viewed, as legitimate high quality products?



    March 19, 2009 at 2:05 am

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