Why It Doesn’t Look Just Like the Picture

Danny Gregory

fax-faceIn the 1980s when photocopying technology became increasingly available, David Hockney made a series of prints using a Xerox machine.  I was looking at some of these prints recently and trying to overcome my initial dismissive reaction: these aren’t ‘prints’. But of course, they are. They were state-of-the art prints in their day.

Printing is and has always been a mechanical method of making multiple reproductions of an image. In the past artists used woodblocks, etchings, engravings, then lithography, screen printing and so on. Today, many artists sell giclée prints of their work, prints that are digital scans of their drawings which are then processed and printed on inkjet printers. And what if we skip the paper part of it all together and use an iPhone and a distant computer server. Isn’t that basically the same idea?

Our instincts say no. It’s somehow not hard or special enough. Where’s the…

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