A fine art screen print is a ‘multiple original,’ handmade by the artist, using a silkscreen, squeegee and ink, usually on paper or textiles and occasionally on other surfaces.
With original, fine art screen prints, the textural and tactile qualities of the ink on the paper or fabric are unique qualities and are inseparable parts of the artwork, distinguishing screen prints as a fine art form.
The details achieved with fine art screen printing cannot be achieved with reproductions. The artist has made each print individually by hand and pre-determined the quantity for production (the edition). Alternatively the artist has produced just one. This is called a ‘Unique State’ print.
A reproduction is a copy of an already existing work. It is a scanned or photographed version of an original artwork (a painting, drawing, screen print, etc) digitally printed en-masse, making it, much cheaper to buy than an original artwork.
With a reproduction print, there has been no intervention by the artist. Reproductions are in essence posters, often called giclée prints and have little or no monetary value. Despite the proliferation of good quality printers and the availability of better quality papers, giclée or digital prints cannot compare to fine art prints. Often sellers of giclée prints offer “certificates of authenticity” as a means for artificially implying authenticity.
When purchasing a fine art screenprint, either from a limited edition or a unique state print, you are purchasing an original artwork, handmade by the artist.