Is a digitally generated and printed image an original, do electronic tools have the same status as traditional tools? Questions that are often asked by collectors who prefer not only the age-old methods such as etching, lithography, woodcut or screen-printing. To put it in a nutshell: Yes, for me, the new techniques are equally important. They even have the inestimable advantage of not having to specify a print run, a format and a paper quality from the outset. One may regret this, but it should be remembered that numbering, signature and limitation are the quirks of an often questionable art market. The artist usually submits reluctantly to this procedure, which he would like to do without.
The second advantage lies in the technical handling. For the classical procedures one needs a correspondingly large own studio or a technically well-versed order workshop including machine park, extensive color assortment and a lot of paper. For digital photography and graphics are – in addition to scanner and camera – a laptop with appropriate programs, one or more external hard drives for data protection and a good inkjet printer. If I can not (yet) afford the latter, there are enough providers that I can reach thanks to my mobile computer or a CD / DVD. All in all, the equipment fits three to four square meters.
As a leading manufacturer, Hahnemühle has developed various DigitalFineArt papers that have amazing qualities. On the one hand, these are the finest age-resistant laid paper papers whose tactility and look are irresistible, and on the other hand, the special surface treatment allows for a remarkable color nuancing and depth. Epson printers use eight inks, of which the black matte black and photo black are interchangeable for a variety of applications. According to the manufacturer, the pigments are resistant to light and aging, I would like to add in addition: at the human discretion. Dealing with the DigitalFineArt papers requires a few tests, but it quickly leads to good to excellent results. The paper consumption is kept within limits, rather lets the enthusiasm grow the stacks … Incidentally, even “normal” papers are suitable, the printhead of the inkjet printer can be adjusted very variable in movement and color intensity.
But where is the negative? As with all electronic media, the A & O is the backup. And here nobody knows what we still expect in terms of acceleration, which hardware and software is still created. Various updates are inevitable, the latest of the day is breathtakingly fast the snow of yesterday. A Japanese woodcut I could print for a collector after 200 years with all subtleties shows the benefits of the old hardware. Unlike the Japanese artist, however, today I can choose between many possibilities and use the interfaces autonomously. Whether I prefer pears or apples depends on the daily condition – I will continue to sign, I promise!