Democratizing Art Through Collaboration and Reproduction

Talking Heads - blog
Is the era of ‘high art’ coming to an end ?

This subject remains debatable in the art world recently. Artists and art movements have been challenging the exclusive and parochial world of ‘high art’ since the dawn of Pop Art in the 1960s. Pop Art saw the celebration and integration of consumer culture, notably advertising, comic strips, cinema and music, into art.

Andy Warhol democratized access to his prized works by designing the cover for the first album of The Velvet Underground, as did Robert Rauschberg when he designed the cover for the Miami Herald and the album cover for the Talking Heads. Later on, Takashi Murakami has continued to democratize art through his Superflat style, which he coined and inaugurated in 2002. He has collaborated with a multitude of brands, created films, album covers, music videos and multimedia experiences which enable virtually anyone to access his art.

The Velvet Underground x Andy Warhol

Art is no longer only accessible in museums or exhibitions, and equally, owning art is not something only those in the upper echelons of society are able to do. Anyone who bought The Velvet Underground’s debut album owns a Lichtenstein, anyone who bought Speaking in Tongues by the Talking Heads owns a Rauschberg, and anyone who bought a MoMa Design flower pillow owns a Murakami.

MoMa Design x Takashi Murakami
MoMa Design x Takashi Murakami

An important step in the democratization of art is through the evolution of art prints. Prints allow art lovers to own the copies of original artworks at accessible price. This variety of artwork allows people from a variety of socio-economic backgrounds to explore the world of art and bring it into their own homes. Collecting prints and featuring them in the home allows every individual to curate their own exhibition which evokes their style, interests and mood, something which is impossible to experience at a museum or gallery.

wall art print

The reproduction of art is a controversial topic, as not every artist has given consent to their work being turned into print form. Equally, not all art styles can be replicated; Pop Artist Richard Hamilton wrote in 1968 that ‘Parthenon, Picasso or Polynesian maiden are reduced to the same kind of cliché by the syntax of print; reproducing a Lichtenstein is like throwing a fish back into water.’  Modern art can often be encapsulated in a print, which enables art museums to offer prints to art lovers as a means of self-expression, a memento to take with them, and a souvenir of a specific exhibition, museum, or city.

TiA (Trust in Art) is part of this democratization movement.  One of TiA’s missions is to inspire young people to rethink what they know and feel about art and learn to see it as a means of self-expression. Through its blog, TiA represents up and coming artists, and promoting their work, including in print form.

In the upcoming months, TiA will reveal our selection of artists with limited edition prints in our TiA Shop. These prints are expected to retain artist’s aesthetic concepts and the high quality of art works. TiA encourages anyone around the world, regardless of their knowledge of art, can view, engage with, and curate artworks easily. That is also a testament to the visual aspect and advantage of prints.


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Published by mydao2210

Camellia Dao (Thi My Dao) is a Vietnamese cultural entrepreneur, author living in Lyon, France.

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