We all love and appreciate the energy of an original painting, regardless if it's an oil, acrylic or an original water color. Most art collectors want original pieces of art in their collections, however with the high cost of many originals it's hard not to consider a hand embellished reproduction.
The question when it comes to a hand embellished or remarked giclée's, archival prints, or any other type of reproduction is always the same. What is it that I am actually buying and what is it worth?
It is a piece of art that has been reproduced on what could be a multitude of different materials, then painted over, or touched up with original paint. The term giclée gets thrown around a lot because of it's French origin and the assumption that if it's French in the art world it's valuable. The term Giclée has become associated with high quality printing, typically onto archival canvas. Reproductions do come in all types of printing, and can be printed to many different materials, canvas, paper, aluminum, acrylic etc.
The reason hand embellished giclée's / reproductions exist is really simple, an artist can only paint so many original paintings in any given month or year. As some of the best artists in the world are making their sol living from their art, the reproductions give them the opportunity to expand their collector base. They are able to increase their income while at the same time making their work available to collectors that may not have been able to afford one of their originals.
What is a hand embellished reproduction worth compared to an original is a question that comes up often, and that answer can very depending on the artist and is never carved in stone.
Typically most quality reproductions are part of a limited edition series, and the size of the edition impacts it's collectability, along with it's current and future value. If an artist chooses to create 10,000 reproductions of a specific piece vs an artist that limits his or her edition size to 200, I believe it's obvious, as the law of scarcity prevails. Many artists today provide a COA, certificate of authenticity that most importantly states the size of the edition and the specific number assigned to any one given piece of art.
Another question that is asked from time to time is who is doing the hand embellishing or adding the original remarks? Many artist use assistants or apprentice artists in their studios under their direction, and others choose to do all the work themselves. Again I think it's obvious that a piece of art that has been touched or worked on only by the title artist is and will be worth more to a collector regardless of the quality of the work.
Understanding and knowing your artist, where they came from, who or what inspired them, to me is as important as the beauty and the emotion coming off the canvas. When available any and all provenance that documents or connects the art to the artist is valuable, photo's, biographies, etc.
I do believe strongly that the most important factor when collecting art is that it calls to you and evokes a strong emotion. That emotion can range from excitement to a calm peaceful energy that simply makes you feel good when you take it in. I have always related connecting to a piece of art to the similarity of falling in love with a person, You know it when you see it.
My recommendation to many first time art collectors is to own what you love, if it becomes valuable and it's a piece of art that will stay in your family and be passed down to future generations, consider it a wonderful bonus.
The arts promote creativity and are the fundamentals of humanity, they inspire us, bring joy into our lives, foster goodness and beauty. Thank you for your continued support of the arts.