The Prints Market: Top Reasons to Collect Editions

Would you rather buy an original print or an original painting? Without hesitation most people would answer with the latter but read on to understand why prints are highly collectible, original works desirable in their own right.

Misconception: Prints are copies of a unique work.

Reason 1 | Prints are distinct works and an important part of an artist’s oeuvre.

Whether making screenprints, lithographs, woodcuts or etchings, artists are drawn to the medium of printmaking for a variety of reasons. Prints afford the unique opportunity for experimentation and collaboration while also offering exciting new ways to break artmaking down to its building blocks.

Misconception: Prints, and works on paper, do not last as long as paintings or sculpture.

Reason 2 | Prints offer long-term value with proper framing and care.

Prints do require some preventative measures to keep them in good condition such as UV-filtered glass and archival mounting materials. This is easily handled in the framing process and requires very little consideration afterwards. Keep the piece in a stable environment and it will remain in excellent condition.

Misconception: A great collection consists of paintings and sculpture.

Reason 3 | Prints provide an accessible entry point to build a comprehensive collection.

Prints are usually smaller in physical size and typically less expensive than paintings or sculpture by the same artist. If a collector is seeking a specific movement, or notable name, for their collection, prints increase the range of possibilities. First-time buyers may look to prints as an attainable option for obtaining an original work. Like other media, value is determined by rarity, technique, complexity and composition.

Misconception: Lower numbers within an edition are better than higher ones.

Reason 4 | Prints are highly collectible whether it’s the first of the edition or the last.

While edition size affects value, the specific number within the series does not. Lower does not equal better. This outdated idea, stemming from historical printmaking techniques, might have been true in the past when soft metals such as copper caused diminished imagery during the printing process but in today’s Contemporary Prints market it is not a factor. Additionally some editions are not even numbered in the order they were made, further proof of the point.

Misconception: A print without a number or signature has no value.

Reason 5 | Prints make Blue Chip art attainable at a variety of price points.

Even at the age of 92 Alex Katz signs all of his prints that are published by Lococo Fine Art, other artists are not as diligent. Even without a signature, or a specific number from within the edition, prints can fetch high prices or offer collectors a chance to purchase from top names. Available now at Russell are a variety of unsigned, unnumbered Andy Warhol silkscreens that include both the publisher’s and printer’s stamps. A signed Warhol screenprint at auction would realize over 100K.

shop prints now. request an appointment by emailing or calling 512.478.4440.

By |July 12th, 2020|Categories: What's New|Comments Off on The Prints Market: Top Reasons to Collect Editions

The Edit:
How to Hang ~ a Step-by-Step guide ~

The where has been picked and the what has been chosen, all that remains is the how. Installing art may seem best left to the professionals, but our easy to follow how-to provides a step-by-step guide to hanging your latest purchase. On most walls, and in most museums, artwork is hung at eye-level – a vague and arbitrary statement when considering we all differ in height. Translated to a measurable unit, the midpoint of your piece should be around 58 inches. Use our guide below for hanging best practice whether the work is displayed with a wire hanger. All you need is a measuring tape, pencil, hammer, and 1-2 nails.

A vibrant blue Alberto Murillo installed last week in a client’s home on a curved wall.

Hunt Slonem (b. 1951), Cobalt, 2017, 30 x 40 inches, Oil and Acrylic with Diamond Dust on Canvas. Price on request. Primary Market.

Wire Hanger:

Quite literally a wire used to hang. A single wire is attached to both sides of the back of the piece, hung from one nail in the wall.

  1. Measure the distance between the wire at full tension (B) and the top of the frame (A). See image above.
  2. Measure the height of your frame (C) and divide the result in half.
  3. From the floor, measure up the wall to 58″ (average eye-level) and make a pencil mark.
  4. From the mark, measure upward the distance recorded in step 2 and make a second light pencil mark (E).
  5. From this mark, measure downward the distance recorded in step 1 (D).
  6. Place nail and hanger here. Make sure that the bottom of your hanger is resting on the line when you hammer your nail in, rather than the nail point. This is where your wire will rest (on the crook of the hanger).
  7. Rest easy and enjoy your piece.
  8. Still stumped or hanging in a tricky spot? We do installation too – schedule our Logistics Manager Ignacio for a home visit by contacting us at (512) 478-4440.
By |June 30th, 2020|Categories: What's New|Comments Off on The Edit: How to Hang ~ a Step-by-Step guide ~

The Market:
Primary vs Secondary Art Markets Explained

Investing in art means spotting a good deal. Do you know enough to recognize great value and anticipate future returns? Diversify your collection with works from both the primary and secondary art market.

Common questions I’m asked: What is the secondary art market? How is it different from the primary? What do you even mean by primary and secondary? While the international art market is incredibly complex in scope, scale, and changing patterns, the difference between these two categories is easily explained. Let’s talk basics – artwork available for sale comprises the global art market. Whether a piece is found in person at Russell Collection, posted online through a third party site like Artsy, or offered at Christie’s for auction, it is categorized as either a primary market or secondary market work.

Robert Indiana (b. 1928), 3 Untitled, 2018, 48 x 36 inches, Acrylic on Canvas. Priced at $6,900. Primary market.

The Secondary Market

Secondary market works have been sold previously and are now offered at auction or sold again through a gallery. These pieces can come from an established artist with a strong market, providing collectors insight into how their investment will perform. Here at Russell our collection extends into the secondary market with works available from Pop artist Robert Indiana (high auction record: $4m, 2011) to Brooklyn-based graffiti artist KAWS (high auction record: $14.9m, 2019).

Collection Diversification

Having primary and secondary works in your portfolio offers the advantages of both markets – the possibility of high gains with the security of a guaranteed return. Shop our inventory in-person or browse our online artists shop to source your next investment.

Robert Indiana (b. 1928), HEAL (positive variation), 2014, sheet: 32 x 32 inches, Silkscreen on 2ply Rising Museum Board, Editions: 4 and 25 /25. Priced at $15,000. Artist’s secondary market high auction record: $4m in 2011.

The Primary Market

Primary market works are being sold for the first time and reach collectors in a variety of ways – direct from the artist’s studio, through gallery representation, or at a contemporary art fair like Art Basel or Frieze. The primary market is an excellent option for savvy collectors seeking to buy a piece by the next Pollock or Basquiat. At Russell Collection we represent emerging and mid-career artists like Hayley Mitchell and Hunt Slonem, affording collectors the opportunity to buy never before seen pieces with the potential for high resale in the future.

KAWS (b. 1974), MOCAD, 2019, sheet: 8 x 10 inches, Acrylic on Wove Paper. Priced at $7,000. Artist’s secondary market high auction record: $14.9m in 2019.

By |June 30th, 2020|Categories: What's New|Comments Off on The Market: Primary vs Secondary Art Markets Explained

The Edit: Fridge to Frame

How many pint-sized Picassos or kid Kusamas live in your home? Whether age three, thirteen or thirty, your child’s latest creative experiment may be the inventive pop of color your walls need. When looking at abstract gestural contemporary art, it’s common for a specific thought to arise – my kid could have done that. Well in this one instance, that would be right. Bring contemporary art straight to your home at a great value that’s full of context and sentiment. Read on for the three framing categories to consider when choosing how to display your little Lichtenstein’s masterpiece:

Alberto Murillo, Inner Beauty, 2015  40 x 40 inches. Available for $9,500.

Works on Paper:
Consider over matting or using a float mount to create a stand out border. With glass and a minimal frame, the end result will be a piece that could easily pass for a David Shrigley.

On Canvas:
Whether stretched or rolled, custom frame options will address whatever display support is needed. A simple float frame allows your tike’s paintings to stand out with a polished finish.

Shadow Boxes are the perfect solution for any three-dimensional works. While typically used for framing jerseys, consider using them to frame a favorite craft or collection.

Why limit their scribbles and class projects to the fridge? Frame their work and bring it to the forefront. And who knows, they really might just grow up to be the next Louise Bourgeois.

By |June 23rd, 2020|Categories: What's New|Comments Off on The Edit: Fridge to Frame

The Market: Banksy to Brainwash

Like many in contemporary art Banksy and Mr. Brainwash utilize found imagery, appropriating recognizable images and manipulating them through context and juxtaposition. Borrowing and layering motifs from other artists has become a cornerstone of Mr. Brainwash’s oeuvre, allowing the viewer to engage in a game of eye spy. His eye-catching works are quite open in their frank allusions and irreverent appropriations. Banksy, however, has garnered international acclaim for his distinctive style of satirical street art and graffiti. His work is rich in dark humour and frequently captioned with subversive epigrams that provide poignant and potent commentaries on the social and political aspects of contemporary society.

Instantly gettable, Banksy’s Girl with Balloon is a perfect encapsulation of human emotion for the short-attention span of our social media age. The small girl reaching after her lost balloon is the poster-child of Banksy’s art coming originally from a graffiti mural first painted in London in 2002. Mr. Brainwash’s use of the image, in one of his wildly colorful and referential pieces, comes as no surprise. The LA based artist worked with Banksy to create the Exit Through the Gift Shop, a polarizing film that sparked many tantalizing theories about the mysterious British street artist.

Mr. Brainwash, Balloon Girl, 2020, 60 x 48 inches, Silkscreen, Mixed Media and Cement on Paper. Available at Russell Collection Fine Art, price upon request.

Banksy, Flag (Silver), 2006, framed: 25.5 x 35.5 inches, Silkscreen on silver Chromolux, Numbered edition out of 1000. Available at Russell Collection Fine Art, price upon request.

Balloon Girl by Mr. Brainwash features the Winged Angel of Keith Haring, the explosive comic book KAPOW1 of Lichtenstein, and the Warholian soup cans turned into vegetable-flavored aerosol sprays. The work takes full use of its compositional space, giving the viewer a look into the saturated, multi-layered, witty, and unique world of Mr. Brainwash. Another motif common to both artist’s is Basquiat’s tri-point crown. In Banksquiat Banksy repeats the image seven times, producing the outer ring of a ferris wheel. By combining his moniker with Basquiat, the anonymous artist calls upon the viewer to associate him with the late great Neo-Expressionist.

Through appropriation and prankster antics, Banksy has continued to shake up the world of Contemporary Art. A common name in the top auction houses, the artist’s record high sits at over $12,000,000 for a work on canvas. Newer to the scene, Mr. Brainwash’s works are already fetching over $50,000 on the secondary market. Prolific and expert markets, the two artists are definite fixtures in both Street Art and Contemporary Art history.

Banksy, Banksquiat, 2020, framed: 38 x 36 inches, Screenprint, Edition: 132/300. Available at Russell Collection Fine Art, price upon request.

By |June 23rd, 2020|Categories: What's New|Comments Off on The Market: Banksy to Brainwash

The Market: Warhol’s Silkscreen Portfolios

     Andy Warhol is arguably the most influential 20th century artist, with secondary market records for his paintings at over $105 million BP. While his works on canvas are mainstays at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips, it is Warhol’s prints, or silkscreens, that showcase his iconic style and images. As an artist, Warhol, favored the technique as it allowed for mass-production and limitless manipulation. In 1967, Andy Warhol established Factory Additions, a print-publishing company that doubled as his studio. Beginning with Marilyn Monroe, Warhol produced successive screen print portfolios drawing influence from celebrity, consumerist culture, and art history. Notable series include the Ad Portfolio, depicting major brands from Chanel to Apple, and the Myth Portfolio, pulling characters from Dracula and Wizard of Oz to Uncle Sam and Superman.

Andy Warhol (b.1928), Marilyn Green, framed: 42 x 42 inches, Silkscreen printed in colors, Unsigned and Unnumbered with Publisher’s Stamp. Available at Russell Collection Fine Art for $6,500.

     For the Marilyn Monroe Portfolio, each image was printed from five screens: one that carried the photographic image and four for different areas of color, sometimes printed off-register. About repetitions Warhol said, “The more you look at the same exact thing, the more the meaning goes away, and the better and emptier you feel.” For Warhol mass-reproduction was intrinsic to his art, it questioned the value of the ‘original’ as each screen print was unique in its context and coloring.

     Undeniably Warhol has had a persistent impact on culture, society and of course the visual arts. Since his death in 1987 his market has held – strong and consistent – even as interest in other Pop icons like Tom Wesselmann and James Rosenquist has ebbed and flowed. Born Andrew Warhola, the artist’s mononymous moniker ‘Warhol’ is synonymous with Pop art – a movement that emerged out of the US and UK in the late 50’s. Secondary market sales and recent auctions have seen complete portfolios of signed prints realize upwards of $750,000 USD at auction with single signed Silkscreens reaching over $200,000 USD.

Andy Warhol (b.1928), American Eagle, 1983, framed: 42 x 42 inches, Silkscreen with glitter on Lenox museum board, Printer’s Proof. Available at Russell Collection Fine Art for $5,500.

     Opening on June 20th from 6-8pm, Life is Beautiful: Andy Warhol & Mr. Brainwash, includes a collection of Warhol unsigned Silkscreen prints that is uniquely diverse in its representation of 7 different Portfolios. Each work was printed by Rupert Jasen Smith, New York – the official printer listed in Andy Warhol Prints: Catalogue Raisonne 1962-1987. In addition to those pictured here, works include Chanel No. 5, Superman, Geronimo, Bald Eagle, The Star and more… Both a statement and investment piece, these works are priced at an amazing value and would make a notable addition for either a discerning collector or a first-time art buyer.

Andy Warhol (b.1928), The Star (Greta Garbo), 1981, framed: 42 x 42 inches, Silkscreen with diamond dust, Unsigned and Unnumbered. Available at Russell Collection Fine Art for $7,950.

By |June 15th, 2020|Categories: What's New|Comments Off on The Market: Warhol’s Silkscreen Portfolios

Go to Top