until the eighteenth century the term printing was synonymous for engraving because in order to create multiple copies of an image a hand-engraved matrix with recesses and reliefs was needed. and this was the only way. then lithography was invented, a technique that allowed printing using flat matrices and gradually the technology evolved to machines, computers and 3D printers.
today the word print is no longer enough to define the technique or process used and when we refer to that first art form to distinguish it from all other mechanical and photomechanical processes, in addition to the term engraving, we use the expressions of art print or original print.
to explain what is an original art print i transcribe an extract from the statute adopted by the III International Congress of the Plastic Arts in Vienna, September 1960, which expressly prescribes:
1- it is the exclusive right of the engraver artist to fix the number of copies to be printed of his graphic works, performed in the various techniques: etching, lithography, woodcut, etc.
2- each print to be considered authentic must lead not only to the artist’s signature but also the indication of the total number of print runs and the progressive number of printing. the artist, if desired, can also write down if himself has provided for the print runs of the work.
3- it is advisable, once the print run is completed, that the matrix (stone, metal, wood, etc.) is biffata (rendered unusable by barring it with one or more crossed signs, deeply engraved) or erased, or at least bearing a clearly distinguishable sign that denounce the completed print run.
4- the principles set out above apply exclusively to the original works, that is to those works derived from a matrix directly engraved by the artist. works that do not meet this condition must be considered REPRODUCTIONS.
each DEDSHIRTs is in fact an original art print (and not a reproduction) certified by the external card that accompanies each specimen and on which, in addition to the pictogram of the reaper printed in relief, the progressive number of printing and the print run, the series’ name, the month and the year of production and the artist’s autograph signature.
it is absolutely not a label but a true certificate of authenticity.
often, before the final print run, the artist makes test prints to verify the goodness of the matrix, paper, inks, etc. and evaluate the final result. the tests very often differ for some details from the final run and can be considered of particular and unique specimens.
this is why we have created a new section of the website called PRINTS, where you can also find all the DEDSHIRTs series print tests.