If you desire to own a large format artwork style that appears to radiate from within as though it was backlit, look no further than Acrylic glass museum floats. Visitors to any of the luxurious high-end franchise photography gallery in places like Vegas, NYC, or even a Thomas Mangelson Gallery (Denver's airport or the Jackson Hole Gallery) you know exactly what print media style I'm referring to. Huge pieces, wonderfully illuminated and encapsulated under crystal clear glass, revealing richly saturated colors & hyper-realistic details. Beautiful photographic artworks encapsulated behind Acrylic glass are simply mind-blowing!
PICTURE IT ON YOUR WALL
The typical commercial art gallery features expansive stark white walls with a sprinkle of artworks on display. Not exactly inspiring if you ask me. I've read articles where people describe them as impersonal or feeling as though they were in a hospital. Apparently, the sterile bare white walls are a safe fall back.
There is no comparison, say to a Peter Lik or Thomas Mangelson gallery. Huge, stunning top-notch nature inspired images populate charcoal gray wall space illuminated by specialized task lights that allows the artworks to pop right out at you. Visitors to galleries like both of these examples tend to slowly admire the photographic artworks, pausing at each one to allow the artwork to make them feel as though they are visiting the scenery in person. During your visit, you'll subconsciously realize that you are mysteriously connected to the artworks, as they seemingly allow mother nature to touch your soul. Who can resist not picturing any of those pieces on a wall in their own home?
For a 40x13" Limited Edition print (520 sq inches), the entry-level investment begins at around $4,000.00. It's a significant investment to procure a Limited Edition high-end gallery style acrylic print, even in that size range. However, from one of renowned world famous photographer Peter Lik's franchise galleries, it is the going rate and they seem to be finding new homes quickly!
THE WORLD'S BEST or MOST FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPHER?
I have great respect for Lik's photographic artworks. I first became familiar with the artist back around 2010 when the Weather Channel ran a short series about him. The TV program had me mesmerized, and it was so refreshing seeing another passionate photographic artist getting down and dirty in mother natures kitchen to create art. His expressions, like when the light or conditions weren't perfect, mirror my own and the various photographer friends I've worked along side of. I've had my share of unga-bunga moments. The show depicted the true behind the scenes, blue-collar work ethic of a serious nature photographer.
As I became more familiar with his brand I began finding numerous published articles. Being I'm an artist working in the same genre, I had keen interest. Some rather boisterous claims published by media have made Peter a lightning rod for harsh critiques. In his own words, to be the world’s "most famous photographer, the most sought-after photographer, the most awarded photographer." My personal feelings say yes, at this point in time he's definitely amongst the most famous of all time along with someone we all know as Ansel. I don't feel anyone on earth is really the worlds best photographer. There are so many unique genres' of photography, and hundreds of photographers with superb skills in each genre, so there really just can't be one. There are many photographers within this niche' of art that are creating jaw-dropping artworks. As a prospective buyer, it really comes down to personal taste, and connecting with both the artwork & the photographic artist.
I'm not particularly inspired by the extremely wide and narrow cropped print style that he's well known for. I've no intention to emulate it, but have seen other artist that have created some true beauties. My favorite aspect ratios I create prints from are the traditional 3:2, wide panoramic 2:1, and for a few select artworks I've created 1:1 square prints.
MARKET VALUE of A TRULY WONDERFUL NICHE'
I've read many published articles about how commercial art galleries tend to cast nature photography with a negative tone. One such article even described Peter's works as "banal" stated "are barely recognized by the art establishment". I totally dig the fact he's (Lik) bucked the elitist system establishment made up of commercial art galleries, and blazed a trail for the genre' of fine art nature landscape photography. There is much more to our collective genre of fine art that these commercial galleries care to admit. What other form of art has such positive effects on human health? I take my hat off to that.
In fact, I personally feel he's set the modern market value standard at the high end for the niche' of Nature Photography, and his works may have been the first to be considered "Luxury" artworks. Art galleries have snubbed contemporary photographers all along. I've encountered my share of condescending remarks aimed towards the photographic arts. Thankfully, the tide has turned in a big way and the spectacular niche' of Fine Art Nature photography is becoming ever increasingly popular.
Other published articles dismiss the rumored sale of a contemporary Lik photographic art that was sold in the millions of dollars. The articles have caused quite a buzz amongst many nature & landscape photographers. I tend to object to any harsh criticism aimed his way by fellow photographers, and I look at is as a bit of jealousy. My point being, there is an unrealized gain that has given a boost to the entire nature loving band of rogue outdoors photographers. Large format nature photography has become a widely accepted and popular as an expression of art.
Clearly, this is a genuine art niche' with plenty of room to grow. There are about 579 million people that reside on the North American continent. I've never counted, but I'll assume there are far less than a few thousand photographers who's specialty is high resolution, large format fine art nature imagery. That's a huge number of structures with rooms that have empty wall spaces just begging to be filled.
WHAT IF A BUYER CANNOT AFFORD THE GALLERY PRICE
Higher-end photography media, often called Luxury Art, comes with steep a price tag. That price trends upwards with Limited Edition prints and a widely recognized name brand. Comparatively, the price points for one of my own 66x44" Limited Edition (2900 Sq. Inches) acrylic glass gallery floats is slightly LESS than their 40x13" (520 Sq. In) pieces. Keeping things in perspective, I am definitely NOT a public figure, nor do I strive to be one. I'm very happy to grow my collector base organically, and take the time I feel is necessary to connect with each new or returning client. Back to my comparisons, after doing the math I'm offering roughly 5 times more square inches for a similar price point. I took a look at dozens of photographic artists websites online in the same genre (nature & landscapes), just to get a good idea for a comparative analysis for traditional sizes in the same Acrylic media style.
Not only did I discover dozens of truly amazing photographers and styles, (especially those artist using Wide Range Gallery websites) I found my pricing is just about average across the spectrum of sizes. This made me feel more secure knowing I'm more towards the center of this galaxy and not standing out on either extreme. My sincere hopes are always people will invest in my work because they are connected to it. I've concluded that, for one, it proves certain photographic artist have set the high water mark, because they could regardless what the method was. Both fame and name brand recognition goes a long way. Secondly, if you simply cannot afford those higher gallery price points, there are alternatives out there that can match both the archival quality and artistic level of excellence of the highest profile photographers. I'd put my own "best artworks" and the works of many photographers alongside any world famous photographer without hesitation.
MY LUCKY DAY
The magic of Acrylic prints! So not long ago I had a prospective client contact me who told me his family fell in love with an unframed New England themed acrylic artwork (photographed from Acadia National Park) they experienced in one of those awesome photography galleries. We arranged a phone call, and he admitted the 4K was out of reach for the size of the piece. He was hoping for something more substantial @ 4 ft. plus, and definitely in the Acrylic print format.
They did some online searches for photographic artist that offered the high quality acrylic floaters, and imagery from New England. They found quite a few artists that checked off both boxes. By the time they contacted me, he already made inquiries with some artist that had New England imagery that really made an impression on them. Dating back over 15 years, I've always had galleries on my websites dedicated to New England states.
I do admit, I was pretty stoked yet humbled being considered as a viable alternative. This may be a once in a lifetime event. No pressure, right? Whew. Is it a dream come true, or a nightmare about to unfold? I don't have a huge gallery as bragging rights, and as I previously mentioned I'm not a public figure. So during out chat I was definitely nervous and could feel myself thinking of trying to soften my landing expecting the worst. Somehow, during our chat I calmly stated "the most important thing is to go with the artwork you truly feel an attachment with - and its something you'd want to see every single day. If you love the artwork you saw at the gallery, and you guys connect deeply to it, don't let the price difference stand in your way. Always go with your heart."
Within a days time he committed to procuring not just one print, but a pair of 45x30" Acrylic glass prints at just around the same cost of the single 40" piece from the gallery. The family expressed their sincere gratitude for the consultation and customer service I provided, and my commitment to the quality I am providing. I can't hide the fact that I was quite anxious to hear back from him once the artworks arrived!
SO WHAT EXACTLY IS THE HIGH-END GALLERY PRINT STYLE?
Technically, its a presentation style known as acrylic glass prints. They are well known for having an extraordinary - almost 3D depth, along with a luminous "back-lit" glow. The print media "style" has gained some recognition due to their high visibility in the aforementioned franchised art galleries. I've personally been invited into a private "darkroom" viewing experience by a sales associate while in Vegas. The lighting in these rooms are expertly used to show off the acrylic face-mounted artworks' ability to trap ambient light and make it appear as though it's being backlit. It's an amazing experience without a doubt.
Acrylic prints feature the artwork (print) encapsulated between acrylic glass and a DiBond substrate
The very best acrylic print specialist (print masters) use photo papers including the likes of FujiFlex, LexJet Metallic-Pearl, and Lumachrome. These papers were specially developed for acrylic glass face-mounting, which further enhance the qualities of this unmatched print media. In all fairness, this presentation, or "print media style" are definitely not exclusive to any single world famous artists. I've read several articles attributing the acrylic print media style to Peter Lik. The facts are that's just not true. What may be more accurate is saying the general public has been exposed to the acrylic prints by way of his high profile art galleries. That I learned directly from the master printers I use for my acrylic pieces. Acrylic glass face-mounted prints have been around a while, and have only improved upon their legendary status as the pinnacle of fine art print media. There's many photographic artists you can procure artworks from without the gallery markup that specialize in high-end large-format acrylic prints, great value, and provide jaw-dropping nature scenes.
I want to make it clear that I am NOT associated with ANY of the famous art galleries or artists mentioned in this editorial. I do not work for, or with them, or the galleries. I am an independent artist, all the artworks on my site are my own, and post processed with my very own personal & honest style. I am not projecting negativity, just using a sample of articles I've found online Fact is, I'm in awe of the gallery spaces and the artworks displayed. I'm writing to provide an introspective for the genre of Fine Art Nature Photography, market value, and a fair side by side comparison of gallery vs artist direct pricing.
In closing, I feel the most important decision anyone can make if you're investing in gorgeous fine art nature photography prints is to procure the artworks you love and connect with the most. Don't get hung up with collectability, or the scarcity of some 1970's 1 of 9 print! If its something you WANT to view every day, you'll be so much happier for it. As a benefit you'll also enjoy all the reactions from friends and family. When you're ready to view some stunning fine art imagery - competitively priced - and backed by a quality guarantee, I invite you to check out my Galleries.