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What is a Giclee?

Giclee (Zhee-Klay)

The French word “giclee” is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word may have been derived from the French verb “gicler” meaning “to squirt”. The phrase “giclee reproduction” connotes an elevation in printmaking technology. Images are generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper. The giclee reprotection process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction.

The Process 

Giclee archival reproductions are created typically using professional 8 -color to 12 -color archival ink-jet printers. Among the manufacturers of these printers are vanguards such as Epson, C anon, and Hewlett-Packard. These modern technology printers are capable of producing incredibly detailed reproductions for both fine art and photographic markets. The apparatus actually sprays (squirts) the image onto the media like an airbrush, creating the appearance of an original painting on canvas. Canvas giclees are then wrapped onto natural wood stretcher bars then coated with an acrylic varnish to protect the image from minor damage and moisture. Shakor (Gallery Cayenne) uses this process to reproduce his paintings on archival art papers or on canvas with a 44- inch format machine.

The Value 

The Value of the giclee reproduction rivals traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing process and is commonly found in museums, art galleries and photographic galleries. Gallery Cayenne uses an 8 color archival ink cartridges that cost between $170.00 and $270.00 . That is a minimum of $1,360 .00 for the ink alone, not including art paper and premium canvas. Numerous examples of giclee reproductions can be found in New York City at the Metropolitan Musem, the museum of Modern Art, and the Chelsea Galleries. Recent auctions of giclee reproductions have fetched $10,800 to $22,800 .


The Advantages

Giclee reproductions are advantageous to artists who do not find it feasible to mass produce their work, but want to reproduce their art as needed, or on-demand. Once an image is digitally archived additional reproductions can be made with minimal effort and reasonable cost. The prohibitive up-front cost of lithographic mass production for a single image edition is eliminated. In the past if an artist wanted to reproduce 10 of his paintings the lithographic mass production fees would cost from $10,00.00 to $50,00.00. This does not give an artist the opportunity to recoup his investment immediately in fact it may take DECADES. Archived digital files will not deteriorate in quality as negatives and film inherently fade. Another tremendous advantage of giclee reproduction is that digital images can be reproduced to almost any size onto various media, giving the artist the ability to customize prints for a specific client.Shakor owner of Gallery Cayenne provides these services and more.

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