Prints Versus Matrixes

It is ironical for a self proclaimed printmaker to sell the matrixes separately from the prints in an arts show not unless the print edition is classified ‘unique’ and it came accompanied with the matrix. If the matrix is sold separately as a work of art beit or not at a reduced price, then the purchaser of the prints should be informed and those matrixes shall then by right be regarded as ‘wood carvings’ which in this case is not since the artist did not regard himself as a ‘wood carver’. This wood carving is by right a tool, medium or mode the printmaker uses to create his art and at most times is kept by the printmaker or dispose of since it no longer has meaning after the ‘unique’ copy is sold. The question then arise that if both prints and matrixes are up for sale, which then should a collector collect in this case and which has more value? The logical answer would be the print since that is the ‘end result’ of the printmakers craft and the matrix is but the ‘medium’. But preferably, the collector of the ‘unique’ print should own the matrix also if the printmaker wishes not to keep it. And it is not ethical for the printmaker to sell both the positive and negative separately, each as an artwork by itself. Moreover whoever owns the matrix could summon for multiple re-edition of prints made without the knowledge and consent of the printmaker or the owner of the unique print. And this, the ignorant collector should by right be informed as it lends doubts towards authentication issues.
If one looks back at the history of printmaking, the craftsmen doesn’t sell their matrixes. And in each artwork, there are as many matrixes as there are colors encountered.The key point to know about matrixes is that it is technically not ‘the’ work of art although many may admire its reverse intricacy and it will not appreciate in value or have a value equivalent to the print from which it is printed from provided in due course, the unique print is unintentionally or intentionally destroyed, went missing or disposed of for whatever reasons. In the last case the matrix can acquire antique value with collectors of matrixes which is rare or museums of printmaking provided the printmaker is highly regarded in the printing world.

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