Le Giclee  

by John Fix

Last Fall there was an online e-discussion leading up to the  Artists Biennial about the prospectus wording of prints being original art work. Hm, were screen printing, monoprint, etching, or intaglio, numbered prints original artwork? Was a color or black and white photograph original art work, was a computer generated artwork, giclee original art work? I was, put off at first, but I knew that I had to get to the bottom of the problem just like the other five or six other chair members in the debate. Back and forth, back and forth, and forwarding of many e-mails. A comprehensive article for the AIW was suggested, I volunteered, and finally here it is and I will start out with some of those e-mail concerns.

In most cases, I would like to see us replace the word “print” with the words “print-out” or “reproduction”. By using “print” we are perpetuating the idea that these things ARE prints in the real sense of the word. Commercial sellers count on the buying public to become confused and merge “reproduction/print” in their minds.

But then what is an original work of art? Prints are multiples. Some are reproductions and some are works of art that are created using print processes that for many printmaker/artists are considered original prints- and digital prints are one of those process along with intaglio, relief, lithography, screen printing, and monoprint. Your definition would eliminate many photographers and ME. I use digital images in my work and I think of them as original works of art. They are not simply reproductions of my prints, drawings/paintings. . .
I think the bigger question here is the intent of the artist.
A, DEFINITION: A giclee is “An ink jet print.” That is about as simple a definition as possible. Giclee’s are digital ink jet print-outs of a digital image file on a computer or CD.

(“Wikipedia definiton: commonly pronounced ‘zhee-clay,’ fine art prints from a digital source using ink-jet printing. The word “giclée”, from the French language word ‘gicleur’ meaning ‘nozzle’, was created by Jack Duganne, a printmaker working in the field, to represent any inkjet based digital print used as fine art. The intent of that name was to distinguish commonly known industrial ‘Iris proofs’ from the type of fine art prints artists were producing on those same types of printers. The term, originally applied to fine art prints created on Iris printers in a process invented in the early 1990s but has since come to mean any high quality ink-jet print.”)......http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giclee