Obviously owning the original work of art is the best option and should be your ultimate goal. If you can afford an original, buy it! Owning an original offers great satisfaction in knowing that you have acquired a work that is the true artist’s creation that should last forever. Your original painting began as a concept in the artist’s mind. That concept was then expressed on canvas or other medium using professional grade paints to create the work of art. Nothing can replace the original. It is one of a kind and should gain value over time. Art investors usually buy originals.
Giclée (pronounced zhee klay)
Not everyone can afford the cost of purchasing an original painting, so purchasing a giclée of the work of art is the next best thing. A giclée is a fine art reproduction that offers a museum quality print of the original. Each giclée print has the exact same quality as the first print (unlike the traditional lithograph where the last print may appear different from the first one). The original is used by the printmaker to capture the work in a non-invasive high resolution digitization. The skilled technician reproduces the work to color match the original paints as close as possible without altering the image to purposely enhance it. The giclée file is printed with the highest quality pigmented inks onto museum quality paper or canvas. These “100-year” archival inks have been tested for UV stability and your giclée should last for many, many years. As with any fine art, you should use acid-free products in framing and avoid hanging the work in direct sun. Sometimes artists also hand embellish the canvas giclée by actually applying paint to areas of the print to achieve the closest rendering of the original as possible. Hand-embellished giclées are more expensive because of the hand painting by the artist. Your signed and numbered limited edition giclée will give you the visual pleasure of the original work.
Digital Color Copy
A digital color copy can also give you visual pleasure of the original artwork. It is a much less expensive representation of the art and is an option for art appreciators who can’t afford the original or the giclée (if available). These may also be referred to as “poster prints.” They are copied on acid-free paper and are signed by the artist. They are not archival fine art reproductions and are more sensitive to fading. However, they are inexpensive to own and will still give you years of viewing pleasure. Whatever option fits your budget is the one that you should follow. You can always add to your collection over time. The important point is to enjoy the beauty of art and to bring color and happiness to your world!