Common Prints Questions
Why and how do you select the images you publish?
Sometimes Robert selects the prints to be printed (Beloved Music Makers of Days Gone By, for example), and sometimes Alexander Wood. But of course we all have to agree upon it before we get started. If it’s new artwork we’re publishing (BB King), Alex has to work up some pretty clear ideas before I present them to Robert, and he has to like it, as Robert Crumb always has, of course, the final word.
Why do you usually print 100-200 prints per edition?
Where does one draw the line between fine art and commercial art? Between a fine art edition and merchandise? It’s a very difficult thing — especially if you enjoy and esteem the artwork of the commercial artists of the 20’s through the 40’s more than the “fine artists” of that period! But to make a long story short, we feel that an edition much larger than 200 loses its integrity, and can no longer be considered a fine art edition (for better or worse). In fact, in the last few years, we have reduced the editions closer to 100 than 200.
Why do you sell them for so little?
Many people wonder how and why we sell these editions for so little, and I’m continually told that those people interested in collecting Crumb would do so at a higher price point as well. Again, Robert has much to do with establishing our price. He is not a fan of the Modern Art world and we are not only disrespectful of the quality and content of most of the art, but also the way it is sold and marketed. It seems to be very elitist with a lot of glamour and glitter thrown in the selling game. None of these things are interesting to us. Robert feels an allegiance to his audience and feels strongly that if he is going to do these prints, they should be affordable to his audience.
Why are some prints more expensive than others?
Some editions have other parties we must compensate with royalties (Cheap Thrills and BB King, for example).
Artist's Proofs (A/P's) are usually a very small portion of a limited edition that is set aside for the artist to do with as he pleases. The artist will usually sign (for example)"1/20 artist proof" then a signature as usual.
TYPES OF PRINTS:
Wildwood produces three types of prints — serigraphs, giclees and etchings.
GICLEES: Giclée, (commonly pronounced "zhee-CLAY"), is an invented term for the process of making fine art prints from a digital source using ink-jet printing. The word “giclée” (from the French verb gicler meaning "to squirt, to spray"), was 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.
All our giclees are printed on Somerset heavyweight enhanced archival paper. We use Epson Ultrachrome inks. For more information about Ultrachrome inks, go to this link. The giclees are rich and saturated color, with a guaranteed color fastness of 75 years.
The whole idea behind releasing giclee editions is to make Robert's most well-known images available to those who didn't get a chance to buy the serigraphs, which are now sold out. There are also many people who love the images regardless whether or not Robert has signed them.