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Fine-Art Chameleon

(June/July 2018) posted on Thu Jun 21, 2018

Michel Caza’s 55 years as a leading fine-art serigrapher set him apart as a pioneer in screen printing.


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By Steve Duccilli

That’s a very difficult question! There has been a great deal of artists with whom, either immediately or over time, friendly, warm, and genuine relationships have developed. But if I must quote a few with whom I’ve maintained affectionate relations, there are two whom I dearly miss, Leonor Fini and André François, and two whom are happily still alive, Alberto Bali and Fabienne Verdier – with whom we, Thérèse and I, share a friendship that goes back 20 years.

 

You make a point in the book of saying that all of your fine-art projects were screen printed. You embraced noncontact printing in your advertising business; why did you stay away from it in fine art?   

Although I have seen interesting things done using digital printing, I am extremely reluctant when it comes to the area of original prints – that is, signed and in limited editions. I cover this very specifically in my book.



Simply put: An electronic file, which can be infinitely reproduced, cannot possibly meet the requirement of a true original print. On the other hand, I find that on-demand art posters or reproductions, of much less value and in unlimited quantities, can certainly utilize digital printing (although digital printing is best for smaller quantities). 

 

The book traces a number of challenges to the limited-edition market that you witnessed – for example, the economic crisis of the ‘70s that prompted art publishers to work only with established names, shutting out emerging talent. What are some of the most significant challenges you see in the limited-edition market today? 

Honestly, I think the current challenges are quite similar to the old ones. There are fewer editors, galleries, and screen printers involved in the production of original prints or art posters, and they still favor famous signatures to cut the risk. Yet there is a relatively new and interesting phenomenon that is emerging. Some artists, small printers, clubs, and associations produce prints and posters of an incredible quantity, from unknown or barely known artists. These are often relayed on the internet by distributors, resellers, and specialized galleries that help to distribute them, or sell them directly. It’s a new way for artists to break through.


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