Safer printmaking for artists
I think this is quite difficult to answer and I wonder if the 'general public' just get more confused when they see unframed prints for sale. There is already some difficulty getting over the concept that we are not mass producing works using an inkjet printer! At a recent exhibition we had framed and unframed listed in the catalogue, clearly I thought, but someone asked me what the unframed works were about? I think with the price of framing it's a hard sell to get people to part with the extra cash. They often don't realise what it will cost them when they go and get things framed themselves. Then there's the whole topic of people being persuaded by the framer to have a very elaborate frame with a triple mount which completely overwhelms the art work.
All in al it's a minefield we negotiate.
As Amanda said, it is a tricky question to answer, especially at the side of the budget artist. The framed works at the exhibition looks nicer in the presentation aspect and the art works look more distinguishable if they are framed suitable for works so can attract buyers. But the professional framing is not cheap at all and the price seems high on the surface as it is added. The unframed work can have a practical merit that buyers can do own framing with their choice of design and budget and of course artist wouldn't need to worry about the framing and save money. Neat mat/foam board for the exhibition can be the option of mediation perhaps.
In recent times the number of unframed prints in the rack was huge in some cases in some shows they were almost spilling out and alot of people could not be bothered to even keep going through the racks. It is hard for artists on a budget as many
are to add on the cost of a frame which is why alot of shows now hang mounted prints both here in Sydney and Melbourne.Although a frame can be used again if not damaged in transit.I think with a themed show a print well framed
works well and the old saying less is more can also work well with selling the framed work and as Amanda said most people
think they are getting a cheap deal without the frame until they go to a framer themselves and unlike the artist who gets a
good discount pay through the nose so to speak.