How to choose the best prints for your home

I was introduced to printing when I was a student working part-time with my old friend, then an art student, now a print artist, studio technician and mentor Michael Timmins. His early descriptions of printing techniques have sparked a fascination with the medium ever since. This year, I bought more artwork than before. Have I spent a fortune? No. Am I an art connoisseur? Far from there.

I think print is an affordable and accessible way to bring personality to your home, whatever your taste or budget, but where do you start? Galleries have started to reopen, but if you can’t access them there are plenty of great places to buy prints online – check out SO Fine Art, Hang Tough Studio, Stoney Road Press, Jam Art Prints and more. others across the country.

Charity events can also be a great place to shop for art, as evidenced by the success of the IDI Grand Prize winner Creatives Against Covid project last year.

The work of Cork-based artist Deirdre Breen is available through SO Fine Art Editions, Atelier Maser and Damn Fine Print. Breen agrees that there are misconceptions about printing.

“There are assumptions that the prints are copies or posters, when most of the time they are in fact separate works made by the artist. They are their own medium, and not always a reproduction of a painting, ”Breen explains.

“There are many forms of printmaking, but all of them essentially involve the transfer of an image from one physical flat surface to another surface such as paper or wood,” Breen explains.

“Once an artist is satisfied with the image and the artwork, he completes an” artist proof “which is a print of a print taken to assess the current print condition. ‘a plate or screen and a way to verify that the color and quality of the limited edition is what it should be. Often the artist will keep this print for his own records and label it “A / P “.

Engraving techniques

For the uninitiated, the small numbers in the corner of a print represent the number of the work of art in a limited edition. The first work of a limited number of 100 will be marked 1/100, however the quality is the same whether you buy number one or 100 in this edition.

“The artist will sign each individual print to authenticate the artwork as a work,” Deirdre continues. “With open editions a number of prints can be created and the amount sold is unlimited. It is good to check if the artwork is limited or an open edition before purchasing a print, as the limited edition will be more valuable.

Some works charge higher prices than others.

“The price of a print is often based on the engraving technique, the complexity of the way it was made, the quality of the work and the notoriety of the artist,” Breen explains. “Traditional techniques requiring a hands-on approach such as lithographs, monotypes and screen prints can cost more than giclées or digital prints.”

Assemble 1 by Deirdre Breen, available at SO Fine Art Editions, Atelier Maser and Damn Fine Print

Assemble 1 by Deirdre Breen, available at SO Fine Art Editions, Atelier Maser and Damn Fine Print

Peter Brennan is Director of the Graphic Studio Gallery at Temple Bar, Dublin. The gallery has an excellent online store with over 1,000 original works of art by artists such as Jean Bardon, Mark Francis and Kate MacDonagh, organized into categories such as Landscape, Human Form and Animalia.

“While traditional printmaking can be a long and labor-intensive process, the fact that prints are produced in limited collections means that many works are affordable, but there are none. compromise in terms of quality, ”explains Brennan. “As the plates can be inked and reused, a number of images can be produced, each of which is an original work by the artist.”

Brennan says most of the gallery’s clients buy pieces because they love them rather than for their investment potential.

“Most people don’t spend a fortune, so it’s a lot less stressful and more enjoyable. It’s less about buying trophies than buying with the heart, ”he says. “The only statement you make is a statement of taste rather than wealth. That said, the print medium means that it is possible to get an incredible original work of art, by a remarkable artist, for relatively little.

Putting your heart into art was one of the reasons co-founders Rosie Gogan-Keogh, Greg Spring and Russell Simmons created Hen’s Teeth in 2015. Formerly on Fade Street in the capital, Hen’s Teeth has become a destination shrine in Blackpitts, Dublin. 8 for its well edited art, objects, lifestyle and food collection.

“My love of art grew out of the energy of Keith Haring’s work,” says Spring, Creative Director of Hen’s Teeth. “The first piece I commissioned in 2014 was by Denise Nestor, by late hip-hop artist J Dilla. J Dilla’s estate contacted us and then used the image on the cover of an LP posthumously.

Choose the right part

When it comes to choosing a piece of art for your home, Gogan-Keogh recommends buying what makes you happy.

“There’s a good chance your taste will change over time, so a good place to start is’ does this make me smile? “”

While many of us want instant gratification, she cautions against all-in-one purchases.

Hold Face by David Vanadia, at Hen's Teeth

Hold Face by David Vanadia, at Hen’s Teeth

“Your home should reflect who you are, and prints are the perfect way to inject that. Create a collection that’s personal to you and hang pieces that evoke memories while looking great on your wall, ”she says.

“Don’t be afraid to combine styles, genres and types of frames – graphic, illustrative or photographic prints from different eras can look amazing together.”

One of the shop’s patrons, Oliver Cruise, runs the Network Cafe in Dublin and is a co-founder of the visual resume app Pineapple.

“The graphic and colorful style of many of Hen’s Teeth’s works appeals to me, and Andy Welland’s works added a bit of vibrancy to what was an otherwise drab room during the lockdown,” he says. “I have Jacob Burrill’s Clarity, Opportunity and Imagination prints for inspiration in my home office. I know I can get a really nice framed piece in Hen’s Teeth for around $ 100.

It is this democratic approach to art that appeals to Greg Spring. “I remember listening to Sarah Andelman, founder of Colette in Paris, talk about how her customers ranged from 18 buying sneakers to 70 buying candles,” he says. “We recently asked three teenagers to buy their first prints with us. They really took a hit. You don’t have to buy an artwork for $ 4,000 – you can buy a print for as little as $ 30.

Collector: Shaun Davin

Although he has no training in art, Shaun Davin has been buying prints since 2005. His collection includes print editions of Damien Hirst, Conor Harrington, James Earley, Mary O’Connor, MASER, Cyclle, Joram Roukes and Kaws. Davin believes printing is an affordable way to start your art collection.

“I first became interested in the art collection after seeing a documentary on Charles Saatchi in the early 1990s. His collection of Damien Hirsts was quite convincing. Against the backdrop of Hirst’s spot and spin paintings, medicine cabinets and monochromes of butterflies, this new era of contemporary art by the Young British Artists caught my eye and I’ve been fascinated by art ever since.

Daisy 11 by Marylou Faure at Hen's Teeth

Daisy 11 by Marylou Faure at Hen’s Teeth

The handmade aspect of fine art prints attracts me: the accumulation of inks, how they sit on the paper and how each can have its own brightness and vibrancy. I love the scope of a print edition. An artist or publisher can place editions in galleries around the world and participate in multiple print exhibitions at any given time.

Some of my favorite Irish artists are ACHES, Colm Mac Athlaoich, Shane O’Driscoll, Chloe Early, Aoife Scott, Neil Dunne, Ted Pim and Richard Gorman. I would like to see these artists recognized in a much broader dialogue of contemporary art.

The different types of prints in my collection have been a great topic of conversation over the years. Being able to present an artist or a work to people is an exciting part of collecting art and hopefully inspires others to collect too.

My list of dream pieces is endless, but at the top of that list is Francis Bacon, Study for a Bullfight No. 1. Lithograph (1971). Edition of 150 copies. Published by the Musée du Grand Palais, Paris.
Instagram: @shaundavin @deirdrebreen

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