Affordable Investment Art No.10 – artmarketblog.com
To come across a limited edition print by such an amazing artist for the measly sum of $800 is fantastic. To come across a limited edition print by such an amazing artist each of which has multiple hand additions in pencil and ink making each print unique is just plain rare. The work I am referring to by the American artist Randy Wray (http://www.randywray.net) and is titled “Ickybana Offering” which refers to the ritual flower offerings made in sixth century Buddhist temples that later became known as ikebana. What makes this print even more special is the fact that each of the 30 prints in the edition is made up of a different combination of between 3 and six images in various different colour combinations which, along with the hand additions, makes each print even more unique.
According to Element Editions (http://www.elementeditions.com) Wray “chose to utilize multiple processes (sculpting, painting, photography, digital manipulation, and drawing) in creating his image” The process of creating this work started with several sculptures which Wray created and then photographed followed by the use of digital manipulation to combine elements of each of the photographs of the sculptures. The next stage of the process involved the creation of drawings using a computer which were based on various details of the sculpture as well as images of plants, spider webs, the human tongue and abstract patterns which were then transfered to silk screens. To finish the print off Wray hand screened three to six images in various combinations and colours on each version of the print and then added unique hand applied editions to each. What an incredible amount of work for one print!!
The multiple layers and variety of techniques that Wray used to construct this image has given the work an incredible sense of depth that draws the viewer into a mesmerising cacophony of highly energetic shapes, colours and forms that can only be described as surreal. When I first viewed this work I saw an image that looked something like a cross between a fireworks show and an exploding pinyata but after reading about the reference to flower offerings I began to see an image that expresses the beauty, radiance, energy and life that each new bloom brings to the world.
Wray’s biography is as impressive as his work with a list of exhibitions he has taken part in that is as long as your arm. As well as producing prints and paintings, Wray is also a highly accomplished sculptor whose work “Voice” has just been added to the permanent collection of the Weatherspoon Art Museum in Greensboro, NC. The sculptural chandelier will be installed in the interior front stairwell of the museum.
The high level of artist involvement and the individualisation of each print has resulted in a limited edition work that is as far from a mass produced print as you can get. What Wray has created is a true original limited edition print that, although an edition of 30, offers each buyer a truly unique work of art. If you have $800 to spend on art then spend it on this because you’ll be hard pressed to find a better investment for that $800. Wray’s “Ickybana Offering” can be purchased from the Element Editions which can be found here:
Image: “Ickybana Offering” by Randy Wray
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications