Magnum's Square Print sales - Easy way to collect and invest or money grab?

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by hoffy, Nov 1, 2017.

  1. hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    From time to time, Magnum runs a square print sale, where you can buy 6x6 inch signed (or estate stamped for those photographers who are no longer here) prints for $100 a pop.

    The current sale can be found here (apologies if you look at this thread 2 days or more after I post it, as the link may very well be dead):
    https://shop.magnumphotos.com/?rfsn=623334.d907b6subid=NL3

    My question is - could these prints be treated as something that could possibly increase in value, or is it just a money grab, with the prints ultimately worth not much at all in the future?

    I'm curious on peoples thoughts.

    Cheers
     
  2. plummerl

    plummerl Subscriber

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    I look at the Magnum prints from a third perspective. I've purchased 5 prints so far (from 3 different previous sales) and I could care less about whether or not they will increase in value. I'm just happy to have them framed and hanging on my wall. I have collected quite a few images over the decades and it was never with a goal of making money. They look great, by the way, framed in an 11" x 14" frame.

    larry
     
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    hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Thanks Larry.

    How do you find the quality? I have to admit, they have piqued my interest.
     
  4. Richard Man

    Richard Man Member

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    I have 3 or 4 of the prints. They are excellent quality. Much better than the books'
     
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    hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    Great!

    I think my problem is I am a tight wad!
     
  6. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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  7. plummerl

    plummerl Subscriber

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    I find the quality to be excellent.
     
  8. Kevin Caulfield

    Kevin Caulfield Subscriber

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    They look good online but I couldn't find a Trent Parke.
     
  9. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    Interesting. Dennis Stocks' enduring image of James Dean in that pic (Times Square, New York / 1955) is very reasonable for its enigmatic resonance with viewers who were around that era.

    I recall somewhere reading about the huge amount of manipulation that was made on that print -- especially the wet foregound and the background buildings, but right down to the smaller peripheral elements. As joint anniversary prints, they have merit (and are relatively cheap as small keepsakes), but Magnum photographers have never left much of an impression on me (nor these prints), with the exception of Trent Parke's early tonally brutal images, which are conspicuously absent in the line up. As things are now, the James Dean image -- a long time personal favourite that so many people can readily identify, can be bought just about everywhere as a poster or transfer for your coffee mug! Even quilt covers feature him! $100 for a 6x6 is way cheaper than you would be paying for one of mine!

    Not sure of their worth as reproductions and collectables, irrespective of what they are printed on and by what means. How many people know any of these photographers, unless they can identify the image that mirrors a name? I can't.

    Somewhere out there is a framed original, first-edition print of James Dean, and it would be worth a fortune today. That is what I would want, not a squinty little 6x6 giclée.
     
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2017
  10. moose10101

    moose10101 Member

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    The test print is the dark one on the right in your link. The one for sale looks quite similar to Pablo Inirio's manipulated print, on the left in your link.

    https://petapixel.com/2013/09/12/marked-photographs-show-iconic-prints-edited-darkroom/
     
  11. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    If you think they are good investments just as the guy trying to sell Sexton prints in the classifieds.
     
  12. dasBlute

    dasBlute Subscriber

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    Like any art, you should buy it because you like it, therein lies the value.
     
  13. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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  15. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    It depends on what you want, but as I understand it the film prints are not from the negatives but from scans, and both the black and white and color images are machine made C-prints. It is interesting that Magnum calls them "museum quality". Is that the current standard for museum quality?
     
  16. calebarchie

    calebarchie Member

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    I am pretty sure they are c-prints also. Don't know anything about standards, but just walk into any national gallery and everything is c except for the stupidly large stuff.
     
  17. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    Even black and white?
     
  18. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    They could also be archival giclee prints... Buy one and find out!
     
  19. faberryman

    faberryman Subscriber

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    In past sales, Magnum has specified that they were machine made C-prints.
     
  20. calebarchie

    calebarchie Member

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    If part of the artists statement (eg hand printed). C is convenient..

    I have several, just never bothered to check with a loupe or microscope... not much point. They look like c prints to my eyes.
     
  21. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    There are a lot of art stocks for giclee that look indistinguishable from a C-type print. Canson and Hahnemuhle smooth art stock come immediately to mind (there are many others). Take your print apart for a definitive answer!
     
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    hoffy

    hoffy Member

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    I'm out anyway. $31 to send a 6x6 print to Australia is a bit steep.
     
  23. calebarchie

    calebarchie Member

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    I work with all kinds of prints every day, what does it matter anyway? Maybe you should buy one.. or do u need an answer.

    Thats cheap! It was >60 USD for some prints, maybe because it must be sent to photographer and back then to the other side of the world! :D

    I have 3 consolidated and forwarded with some other stuff - should arrive in time for christmas.
     
  24. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    That would include insurance, I hope! But I agree it is a lot for a tiny print.
     
  25. Poisson Du Jour

    Poisson Du Jour Subscriber

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    Considering I've sold many of my 20x20cm giclee pinhole prints for $740, conservation matted, I am at a bit of a loss why Magnum is only asking for $100 for a snap of one of history's most iconic photographs. So working along an economy of scale and fast repeatability, these would be giclee reproductions from archive scans. I might just go for the James Dean photo!
     
  26. blockend

    blockend Member

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    6 x 6" is pretty small for an image that's likely to be presented much larger in a gallery, and would affect its resale value. $100 seems about max as a talking point "yes it's a genuine Martin Parr, Gerald". If they were 12 x 8" I'd be on to it.
     
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