Founded in 2001, Santa Fe Editions is an outgrowth of the digital explorations of Gary Mankus and Ricardo Mazal. Located in the Historic Eastside of Santa Fe and presently consisting of 18 artists (and growing) Santa Fe Editions is dedicated to the exploration of contemporary printmaking.
Prints of the individual artists have been widely exhibited including Elins Eagles-Smith/ San Francisco, Chiaroscuro, Evo, Parks, the Center for Contemporary Arts / Santa Fe, Richard Levy/Albuquerque, Carol Rubenstein/Philadelphia, Anne Reed/Ketchum, Ana Mas/Barcelona, Ramis-Barquet/ NYC, Lucas de Bruycker/ Belgium, and Barry Whistler/Dallas, among others.
Santa Fe Edition prints are in the collections of the Daum Museum and the National Reserve Bank.
Aside from Gary Mankus and Ricardo Mazal, the artists working with Santa Fe Editions include Forrest Moses, Caio Fonseca, Erika Blumenfeld, Dirk de Bruycker, Raphaelle Goethals, Robert Kelly, Gail Rieke, Gustavo Rivera, Johnnie Winona Ross, Sam Scott, Paul Shapiro, Joe Novak, James Westwater, Shirine Gill and Sally and Seth Anderson.
Questions & Answers About Santa Fe Editions
An interview with Gary Mankus
What does it mean when you say these are "original" works of art and cannot be produced any other way?
We're doing things that are unique to this medium. An original fine art print is the creation of a work of art, by an artist in the print medium. What distinguishes it from printed reproductions or 'Giclées' is the artist's direct participation in the creation of the image. Works in the Santa Fe Editions are original and are created with the aid of digital tools. You couldn't do it in lithography; I don't think you could do it in silkscreen. We're exploring ideas of artists in a new way. We work with an artist's source materials, get down to basics and reassemble them with the aid of a computer – exploring things like transparency and luminosity. We may do things on the fly; it's very intuitive. It's similar to working at a print workshop, something like working with printers at the Tamarind Institute except that, for the artists, the results are more immediate; they can ask us to change a color, for example, and see the result instantly.
So you aren't just taking an original artwork and trying to reproduce it as accurately as possible, is that right?
Absolutely Not. These are not reproductions; they are original works of art. What we might do is have an artist make marks on a piece of paper, and then we bring it into the system and do things with it. The artists are creating unique source materials, and then we work with them. We may be working with several layers, or several colors; and when they're reassembled it's something completely different, an original work of art.
Can you describe how you work with an artist?
Every artist works differently. Some of it is photography based – that is, beginning with the artist's film negatives. In other cases it begins with marks on paper. With Johnnie Winona Ross, we started with just his ideas. His paintings are coceptually very minimal. If you take away his handwork, you're left with his ideas – for instance, of transparency and transitions – and we work with these on the computer. With Gustavo Rivera, it's more like traditional printmaking. We start with having him make marks on paper.
Is it always done sitting together at a work station, or can it be done by emailing things back and forth, for example?
We've done it both ways. Once we have the main direction of the work defined, proofing and tweaking can be done long distance.
To what extent is this collaborative art making? I mean is it the same as in traditional printmaking, or more so?
It is a very collaborative process. You may get better results if an artist knows nothing about computers because then they have fewer preconceptions about what they can and cannot do. I do make a lot of suggestions, but it's always the artist who makes the decisions.
It's been quite a collaboration with Ricardo Mazal. He and I had been doing collaborative diptychs – which were unique works of art – for many years, and we realized that with editions we could distribute our work to a wider audience. Mazal had been using a computer for a long time as a visualization tool. He would photograph a painting and bring it into the computer, and then maybe stretch it or something, just to play with ideas for new paintings. But it's only with the latest technology that we are able to print something as beautiful and archival as any other printmaking process; and so we realized that you could take these images and create original works of art that you would not be able to create in any other way.
Can you think of anyone else doing this kind of work with artists?
I've been watching for it – for example, in Art on Paper – and I haven't seen anyone else announcing it, although if you look closely you can find original inkjet prints creeping into the offerings of several renowned print shops such as U.L.A.E. (Universal Limited Art Editions) in New York, which began as a lithography studio in the 1950s doing work for Larry Rivers, Robert Rauschenberg, etc., and recently new works by Bruce Nauman published by Gemini G.E.L.
Of course there are plenty of print shops doing reproductions with inkjet print technology - we are quite different.
Works by artists in the Santa Fe Editions will range from $600 at the low end to $2,500 at the high end, for images that are between 13x16 and 36x44 inches in size. By comparison, a traditional print from one of these artists – a monoprint, for example – might cost $4,000 or even more. SFE providesan entry point for collectors – a way of making an artist's original work more accessible.