Inkjet Art

Is It Art Yet ?

Epson Prints as Art

TheArt / Architecturesection of theNew York Timeson Sunday, March 25, 2001 devoted its front page and two lead stories to photography‚ a review ofEpson’s America in Detail, a traveling exhibition of inkjet photographic prints, and the second article entitledRacing for Dollars, Photography Pulls Abreast of Painting.

Unfortunately I’ve been unable to be in any of the cities that is exhibiting theEpsonexhibition, though reports I’ve read and heard say it’s quite spectacular. Regardless, the important point here is that when theNew York Timesplaces it imprimatur on some aspect of art we know one of two thing; either it’s finally arrived, or its day is past.

Mono Lake Sunrise #2, 1999

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 inPhoto Techniquesmagazine that theEpson 1270printer was the first inkjet printer that could seriously rival traditional photographic prints in terms of image quality. Some months laterEpsonsurprised us all with theEpson 2000P(and the larger but otherwise identical7500and9500models). 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 influentialNew York Timesassuring them that pigment-based inkjet prints are to be regarded on a par with traditional photographic print materials.(Members of theChristopher Burkettschool 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.

Michael Reichmann
March‚ 2001

September, 2001

MyMonographhas now been published. You can read about ithere.