Is It Art Yet ?
Epson Prints as Art
The Art / Architecture section of the New York Times on Sunday, March 25, 2001 devoted its front page and two lead stories to photography — a review of Epson's America in Detail, a traveling exhibition of inkjet photographic prints, and the second article entitled Racing for Dollars, Photography Pulls Abreast of Painting.
Unfortunately I've been unable to be in any of the cities that is exhibiting the Epson exhibition, though reports I've read and heard say it's quite spectacular. Regardless, the important point here is that when the New York Times places it imprimatur on some aspect of art we know one of two thing; either it's finally arrived, or its day is past.
In this case I believe it to be the former. Eighteen months ago I shook up a lot of people when I wrote on these pages and in Photo Techniques magazine that the Epson 1270 printer was the first inkjet printer that could seriously rival traditional photographic prints in terms of image quality. Some months later Epson surprised us all with the Epson 2000P (and the larger but otherwise identical 7500 and 9500 models). These provide similar image quality to that produced by the 1270 but through the use of archival pigment-based inks.
Now we have the art world formally embracing inkjet photographic prints. I'm happy to see this, as I'm sure will be many other photographers who sell and exhibit their art using this technology. Collectors and gallery owners now have the influential New York Times assuring them that pigment-based inkjet prints are to be regarded on a par with traditional photographic print materials. (Members of the Christopher Burkett school please note).
Since I'm currently preparing to publish a 25 print monograph in bound book form — summarizing my landscape work from the past five years, I'm pleased to have the validation of the art world for this effort. During the past year or two I've sometimes felt myself to be something of a voice in the wilderness on this subject. It appears that the wilderness has now moved to Manhattan.
March — 2001
My Monograph has now been published. You can read about it here.