Giclee. What it is?

Our human nature demands to surround our space with beautiful things, pulls us to visit the beautiful corners of the Earth, in the mountains, the sea, in Venice, finally. And we decorate our house with works of art, which have one purpose - to be beautiful. What objects of art live in a house next to a person? Paintings, drawings, photographs, reproductions, figurines ... Or, as they say now, 2D and 3D images. 2D - (two-dimensional, flat) pictures, photos, posters, etc. 3D - (three-dimensional, with volume, relief) sculptures, statues and other glyptics.

The creator of the artistic image has always been, is and will be the artist. Previously, he carved rock carvings on the walls of his cave, with the development of civilization, painting, graphics and their many styles and directions were born and reached creative heights. The next, truly revolutionary breakthrough was the emergence of photography. Naturally, the improvement of photographic equipment and artistic photography language has accelerated, if you will. Over the past time, photography has turned from a craft despised by "real" artists in the 19th century into a generally recognized form of fine art, with its own laws, traditions, masterpieces and geniuses.


  And now we are on the threshold (or rather, we have already crossed it) of the third revolution in art, in the ways of creating this very image. I'm talking about computer graphics (CG), virtual reality (VR) and many new terms and names that are rapidly changing each other. The bottom line is that the image is created, rendered inside the machine, displayed on the computer screen. To create it, dozens of amazing programs have been written, which are continuously, rapidly and competitively improved. "Delivery" of the image to the viewer is also rapidly and varied.


And you can define two main types of visualization of a computer image enclosed in graphic files, or in a program code that generates an image on the fly in real time.

The first direction is the demonstration of the image to the viewer at the moment, here and now, on the screen, in VR glasses, in volumetric video representations, that is, without leaving the boundaries of virtuality, remaining a pure show, devoid of materiality, such as sounds, light, smell.

And the second direction of visualization of digital content, technically speaking, is the materialization of virtuality. Music, sound can be recorded on vinyl, CD, tape. Light is printed on film, turning it into photography or cinema. To drive the smell into an elegant bottle. A picture (file) created in computer graphics programs can be printed on almost anything.

So we are getting to the topic of our article ... A few more points, thoughts, reasoning.

Everything that has not yet been explained to you about this.

For the artist, the main task, the most important task, is the creation of a work of art, the essence of which, its main feature, is the unity of form and content. And if this is observed, harmony is born, goose bumps run down the skin, and that lofty sensation called catharsis arises.

And it doesn't really matter how this work was created, with strokes of paint on canvas, lipstick on a morning mirror, light strokes on a napkin, in the narrow height of a stained glass window or a fresco in a temple, or sometimes lengthy miscalculations on powerful graphic stations.

Computer graphics allows you to combine all three ways of creating an image, hand painting and drawing, combination with photography, and synthetic images made in 2D and 3D programs. This toolkit gives the artist boundless power and freedom, of course, without freeing him from creative anguish and doubts, searches and findings of the very same .., and also from continuous study of constantly updated programs.

Hopefully we figured it out.

Let us now recall how, say, engravings and etchings were created earlier and now. The artist creates the source code, matrix, cliche and, after various technological tweaks, makes prints. Each print has a serial number and an author's signature. The first few prints are of the same quality and value. As the circulation increases, the quality of the cliche decreases. The price is also falling.

There is an almost complete analogy with the work of computer graphics. A cliché is a file. The print is a print on canvas, usually. This is the giclee this article is about. Giclee (from French "giclee" - spraying, spraying) is, in other words, a picture printed from a file. The file can be a high resolution scan of a painting made using traditional techniques.

For example, in order to make a giclee of an authentic image of Leonardo's La Gioconda, it is necessary to take a high-quality picture of the picture in the Louvre, for which it will be necessary to remove the picture from under the armored glass, put the light on and take a photo of it on the camera with the highest possible resolution. The price of the original file will also include obtaining the appropriate approvals and permits.

In my case, the source is the file, that is, the image created initially on the computer. The cost of one print from a limited author's print run can be quite high, for example, in the prestigious London gallery " Saatchi Art " (where I was kindly invited with my paintings) giclees of different styles of different artists from all over the world are successfully and expensively sold along with traditional paintings.

Another advantage: you can print a wide variety of giclee sizes downward from the original or slightly enlarged. The actual size (in centimeters) of the digital picture is in principle unlimited, but it is determined by the computational capabilities of the computer. The big picture can take many hours, if not days. Weak (regular) computers simply won't be able to handle these tasks. So for now, I have no more than one and a half to two square meters. meters. Another limitation is printers that print an "endless" strip about 140cm wide. In other words, it is not yet possible to get a life-size giclee "The Appearance of Christ to the People" by A. Ivanov. But technology is developing rapidly. So these restrictions will not last long.

The source file of a painting can be up to several gigabytes, depending on the number of layers, physical size in centimeters (inches) and “color”.

A printout of a 100x100 cm painting on canvas with a stretch on a stretcher and the obligatory varnish in a good (!) Print studio will cost 8-9 thousand rubles (at prices of the summer of 2018). This is the "cost", which does not include the creative process, the fame of the author, trends and the state of the art market and so on.


Rama is a separate and long conversation. Let's talk sometime.


Another giclee attribute on the market. This is the application of gel or paint strokes over a print on a canvas to more closely resemble a printout to a handmade painting. This is a matter of taste or even "taste". As such a computer graphics artist, I urge you to stop being ashamed of the computer roots of your paintings. Yes, this is a new tool in the visual arts and you don't have to try to do your work “under” the picture with paints.

I am also against the term "computer art", rather it is a type of technique in the visual arts, as recognizable and independent as working with a palette knife, or colored pencils, or charcoal, or watercolors, etc.

In conclusion, I will repeat myself. The beauty of a work of art does not touch the way it is done. And yet, with something else, incomprehensible ...

PS I somehow lost sight of the sculpture. And after all, there is an "attempt" on her computer technology. Now it is already possible to sculpt a shape in a 3D program, select any material, achieve incomprehensible outlines and details, and then "print" (a new term for this has not yet been born) the sculpture on a 3D printer. Like this. Old school sculptors are already grumbling ...))

Your Vladimir L-M

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