ArtExpo in New York is the best trade show in the world for exhibiting giclee Print

Art shows exist all over the US and Canada. There are thousands of street-shows, where a city or suburb will close down their main street and turn it into a mall for painters and photographers for a weekend. But if you want to become known nationally there is only one show to consider: ArtExpo in New York.

Art Expo 2008 entrance
Art Expo entrance, 2008.

In Europe many collectors still buy originals. So most art trade shows in Europe are primarily for original paintings.

Since the main commercial center for giclee is in the US, if you are a giclee artist or giclee publisher (printer and/or publisher), then you want to be in a US exhibit. This is why the ArtExpo attracts artists from Israel, Russia, South America, Africa, Australia, Japan, Korea, China, the Balkan area and Eastern Europe.

ArtExpo events have also taken place in the past in Las Vegas and in Atlanta, but the largest and continuously most successful of these events is in New York.

ArtExpo in New York is sometimes held on the same dates and in the same Javits trade show center as DécorExpo. DécorExpo is primarily for framing. In some years there is a separate DecorExpo in other cities (such as Atlanta). In such an instance when DécorExpo is by itself, there are some giclee displays and a few fine art photographers on display in the DecorExpo space also.

In a New York ArtExpo more than 50% of the booths display giclee. Many booths display only originals; some offer both.

Art Expo examples
Art Expo, giclee printing examples.

Only a few booths still offer only offset lithographs or other mass-produced décor prints. I can still remember when publishers of screenprinted or offset printed reproductions put a sidebar into their advertisements saying “no giclee here.” Most of these companies are now either out of business or have switched at least partially to offering giclee prints.

If you are a fine art photographer, yes, ArtExpo is a pertinent venu, but probably only one or two percent of the booths display fine art photography. But those that do offer an impressive quality. Since I myself do fine art photography I enjoy visiting ArtExpo to see what other fine art photographers are exhibiting: most are flowers, abstract images, some architecture, landscapes, etc. There are not many that exhibit fine art figure photography (euphamism for nude photographs of young women). The show is by no means prudish, just that the interior decoration market prefers something a bit more original than just another naked female.

Only two or three booths exhibit wide-format inkjet printers or digitization systems. To see these you need to attend Photokina (held every two years in Cologne, Germany) or try PhotoPlus, in New York every autumn.

A giclee exhibit is a guaranteed place to see good examples of unprofessional digilization

One thing I can’t help but notice when I walk around and inspect the giclee images in each booth are how many are nicely printed but poorly digitized. When I ask who did the photography or scanning of the original image I am always told, “it is the best photographer in my city…”

In other words, artists are taking their paintings to the best wedding or commercial photographer, who simply is not an expert in doing giclee photography. These local photographers are competent shooting high school graduation portraits, local architecture, and their other specialities, but simply lack the specialized equipment to handle giclee digitization.

What is missing? Well this is why we have three entire web sites:

www.digital-photography.org

www.flatbed-scanners-review.org

and this www.FineArtGicleePrinters.org

These three web sites, 12 years of experience with giclee, and access to all the best scanners and large-format digital camera equipment, are what allows us to notice what is missing in the photo studios of “the best photographer in our town.”

Photokina 2010 for fine art and giclee

Canon, Epson, and HP exhibit their giclee-capable printers at Photokina as well as printers for fine art photography.

The leading international brands of art canvas, watercolor paper, and fine art photo satin media exhibit at Photokina.

Photokina 2008 entrance.

Plus there are many exhibits of fine art photography in the several kilometers of hallways, walkways, outside areas.

But since Photokina is primarily for photographers, you will not get many or any exhibits of giclee outside of the booths of the wide-format printers, canvas, and watercolor paper companies.

Summary

The best venue to have your fine art photography or giclee be noticed, at an international level, is ArtExpo in New York. It is held in late winter/early Spring each year.

First posted January 2, 2009.

 
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