Prints are often treated as the lesser sibling of original art. I can only imagine that in high school the words “copy” were etched into Print’s locker and the gossip around the cafeteria was that Print was a fraud. Like a lot of high bullying there’s a smattering of truth to what’s being said (“Tiina’s a dork”) but reality has been twisted with the goal of making us feel lesser than. In fact, the very reason we’re ostracized also makes us unique. Be it in prolific fan fiction writing or the fact that having numerous duplications of our work allows to communicate our message to a larger group. There’s nothing wrong in being a copy, as long as you have something important to say. We took the long way around but you’ve guessed it: we’re at the Affordable Art Series, Prints Edition. Time to show these facsimiles some love.
First thing first. I’m leaving fine art digital prints out of this round up. I know, I know! But, the world has plenty Monets, Dalis, and Picassos. WE GET IT, THEY’RE GOOD AT ART. Nothing quite says literary major at university like Monet’s Lily Pads on a Lake or Whatever. I get it. These are fabulous works of art, but your house ain’t a museum (if it is, call me) – so leave the fine art out of it. If you just HAVE to have one of these pieces up then grab yourself a postcard from the museum gift shop and tuck in in the corner of the mirror. That way you can easily remove it when anyone you want to impress comes over. /endrant
Or buy whatever the hell you want as long as it makes you happy. What the hell do I know?
Afforable Art: Print Roundup
BLOCK PRINTS + SCREENPRINTING
Probably the most palatable of our printmaking mediums. If I had to wager a guess it has something to do with the relatively labored and handmade feel to these pieces. Even though you’re purchasing something can be replicated many times over it also has a lot of room for variations regarding the “stamping” process. These prints tend to have a basic color palette and broad shapes. The above piece is from my grandmother’s collection by an Estonian artist from Tallinn. Inherited art is affordable art.
Since this kind of print generally uses a limited palette it’s a really good way to inject a little contrast into your gallery wall. In the round up below I’ve included little piece of a fiddle leaf tree. Now you can stop killing trees and just have your fiddle leaf obsession immortalized on paper and buy yourself a damn snake plant. #unkillable 1. RichelleBergenArt 2. littleprintpress 3. RichelleBergenArt 4. SoniaLazoIllustrator 5. HorseAndHare 6. DerwoodPaintCo 7. helloDODOshop 8. JSvintageGallery 9. DansLaPeaudAnne 10. RichelleBergenArt 11. littleprintpress 12. plantplanet
ETCHINGS + ANTIQUE PRINTS
I think lots of folks are afraid of antique prints because they have some traumatic history related to “old people art”. Let me tell you this, old people art in a non-old person apartment (#ageismisbad) is a damn fine look. It’s all about balance. You can go WILD GRANDMA if you keep the rest of the place sleek. This means I better not see any doilies around. The same works in the inverse. If your style is a little crazy grandpa that spends all day building train sets and yelling at the neighborhood kids through the window, maybe consider going with a larger minimalist block print to balance the smell of cigarettes and stale potato chips.
However, buying antique prints can feel a little random and purposeless. Try searching for something that at least has some minimal relation to your interests. If you love old fashioned cars this print would be perfect for you. Or maybe you just like pink. That works too.
MAPS + POSTERS, & OTHER LARGE SCALE GOODNESS
These are prints that actually have a functional purposes that we’re going to re-bastardize and use for art. These pieces cover a large swath of wall and create visual interest without being too overwhelming (i.e. letting your eye wander). The downside of this pieces? Framing. I recently scored a nautical map of the waters between Tampa to Havana for $10. Awesome right? It’s also 48 x 24 inches. Meaning it will cost a fortune to frame. I’ve been looking for affordable frames (aka the most boring yet practical component to the affordable art series) and this option is the best I’ve come up with. It’s about $100 to frame this map. I haven’t bought it yet (must. curb. spending.) but I’ll let you guys know what it’s like when I get it. Eventually I’d like this piece to go above the bed. Also, I’m aware these pants make me look like a lost boy. I promise they’re more flattering in person.
Much like with antique prints- bonus points if you find a large scale print that has some personal relevance to your life. If not, feel free to snag the feline anatomy chart to make sure your cat knows who’s boss, and in this case the boss knows how to disassemble it.
In case you’re wondering number 28 really speaks to the nihilist in me.
If you’re not really feeling any of the above pieces (NEVERSATISFIED) maybe you should save your hard earned dough and put it to work actually making some art. EFA, LES Print Shop, and Shoestring Press all have printmaking workshops in the New York City region. Then maybe then you can tell me what the hell “intaglio” even means. If your not around these here parts you can always grab a linoleum block and carving supplies from your neighborhood craft store (…or Amazon…shhh…) and create your own masterpiece. How’s that for affordable art? If you haven’t experienced this soul soothing properties of carving into a block of linoleum, I implore you, it is time. You think Q-Tips after a shower feel good? You. Have. No. Idea.