Your Guide to Prints and Multiples

Natani Notah, Speech Bubbles #14/20

How do you become an art collector? The answer is simple. You start collecting art.

Prints and multiples are the perfect place to start your journey as a collector. These works of art are generally more affordable than, say, paintings or photographs from the same artist. Some are produced in editions, meaning that there are a set number of identical works of art. The larger the edition, the more affordable any given print; the smaller the edition, the rarer it is. Whether it is from a large or small edition, a fine art print is not a poster. It is made, signed, and numbered by the artist and a good print in good condition can hold its value over time. Depending on the art and the artist, it can grow drastically in value over time.

A monotype is a special kind of print. Artists use the printmaking process to create these works. But unlike editioned prints, each monotype is unique. Artists often produce monotypes in series so that individual works of art relate to one another. They are the best of both worlds.  They are unique works of art within larger bodies of work. They stand on their own as unique works and they dialogue with one another at the same time. Collecting monotypes is the perfect way to buy unique works of art from up-and-coming artists at accessible price points.

 Passage Arts collaborated with Natani Notah, an emerging interdisciplinary artist, to create a series of monotypes. “There were various steps that I took to put together this print edition,” Notah says:

I first started by sketching various outlines of speech bubbles. I transferred my favorite outline onto a piece of linoleum. I then proceeded to cut the shape out to create a stamp. I then rolled out woodblocking onto the stamp and played with printing it.I mixed up my own ink and proceeded to hand pull twenty screenprints, which I let dry and then went in by hand with acrylic paint and filled in certain speech bubbles with different colors.

Notah began this series with classic printmaking methods, like she would to create an edition of identical works of art. But for Notah, 2020 has been defined by a diversity of voices, rather than any one voice. The artist painted different elements and created different patterns, all in different colors, fundamentally changing the base prints. She explains,

When I went in by hand with acrylic paint I started by filling some of the speech bubbles in entirely but as I continued to work on the series I started to think about what the act of filling in, covering up, or self-editing means. In turn, the acrylic accents started to take on a more circular shape and to me, they became beautiful stand-ins for a fingerprint, which further speaks to conversations about individuality and identity.

Notah transformed an edition of identical works into a series of unique works. It is a fitting end to a year in which no two things are the same, though patterns and routines and collectivity take on new importance. She signed and numbered the prints, 20 works of art for 2020.

Passage Arts is delighted to be working with Notah for our debut sale. And we are delighted to offer you works from this series exclusively on our website. We believe that you are part of the art world. We believe that you can be an art collector. All you have to do is start.

Image courtesy of the artist. Natani Notah, Speech Bubbles #14/20 (2020). onotype Series of 20. Screen printing ink and acrylic paint. Strathmore 400 Series Printmaking Paper 280 gsm. Acid-Free. 11” X 14” © Natani Notah 2020

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