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Author Topic: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done  (Read 36425 times)

enduser

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2013, 11:07:33 pm »

I twasn't me who said "I got it from Lik's framers."  My info comes from the manager in one of his outlets, as we got into a conversation about his work.   The outlet has been where it was for many years and I visit it  about every five.  There are images there that have hung for at least ten years, nothing's fallen apart.

He's a multi millionaire, has sold at least one image for US$1,000,000.  If earning an income is a measure of success, he's a winner.   I don't thinkI'll be his critic.
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tim wolcott

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2013, 12:23:57 am »

I'm not going to mention the framers.  Plural names.  Because Lik will try to suit them.  But a manager who is getting paid to say what Lik wants him to say.  You mention ten years.  Type in why C-print fade.  They talk about Gursky's images fading.  BUt when the museums, AIPAD and even the Smithsonian talk about well then the road is getting short. 

When I see new reports from my old friend Wilhelm and Mark Mc Cormick at AArdenburg give rating then maybe I'll change my position.  But we had the second Lightjet in the world at our lab.  They have faded and they were made in 1995.  But hey just ask Bill Atkinson and others.  T
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acktdi

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2013, 12:55:24 pm »

I've seen a few other galleries here in Las Vegas, in addition to Lik, that are selling prints that are acrylic/plexi face mounted.  Even Art Wolfe is doing it, at the Rotella Gallery.  It's what the consumers want, so I don't blame them for going for non-archival display methods.

weingrub

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2013, 10:01:56 pm »

Wayne -

I read somewhere out there that the ionizer, though it blows the dust away better, ionizes the air/dust such that it later sticks to anything and everything. Have you encountered this?

Thanks,
Rob
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2013, 02:25:33 pm »

Wayne -

I read somewhere out there that the ionizer, though it blows the dust away better, ionizes the air/dust such that it later sticks to anything and everything. Have you encountered this?

Thanks,
Rob
No issues.  Use it all the time.  Iíve been using ionizers to keep film and such clean for over 30 years, and have never heard of this.
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weingrub

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #25 on: November 18, 2013, 02:41:01 pm »

Excellent, thanks Wayne. Now on to making a clean room ;-)  Emphasis, "clean".

- Rob
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marcsitkin

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #26 on: November 21, 2013, 10:31:59 am »

I've been mounting behind plexi for 25 years, mostly large backlit transparencies for lightboxes. Without a clean room, by which I mean positive pressure, hepa filters, and an ionizer bar on the mount press, it's virtually impossible to get a perfect dust free mount consistently. On backlits, it's not a big issue because the dust virtually dissapears when the backlight is turned on. It's also on display in busy environments and is not exposed to the scrutiny of a fine art piece. That's why it's still commercially viable.

I do not offer this service to fine art customers because I don't think that without a large investment in a clean room, I can offer up the quality that they need.

Starting in 1985, and continuing until 1999, I did large volumes of C-printing, and over time, the prints have started to fade and degrade. It's happened to images on display, as well as those stored in archivel boxes (from Light Impressions). Nothing lasts forever.

My personal take on the plexi mounted prints is that I don't like the look, and prefer more traditional framing methods. And yes, I've seen plenty of Gursky's Dia Sec mounted C prints, and am not at all impressed by the quality of them. As far as Peter Lik's work goes, I've been to his gallery in Miami Beach many times, and consider a visit there the visual equivalent to spending an hour at the loudest rock concert in the world. I swear my eyes are bleeding by the time I'm outside. Yes, he's incredibly successfull, but the work is really very LOUD. Sorry for being an opinionated old guy, but maybe more effort needs to focused no producing great images, and less concern about how we mount them to slabs of plastic.
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 Marc Sitkin www.digitalmomentum

Wayne Fox

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2013, 02:01:38 pm »

You have some good points about Lik. His work and itís look dates back to the introduction of Velvia, a film which caused a dramatic shift in landscape work. What he does today is try to duplicate that look digitally (and often maybe goes even further - similar to Tom Till).  If you look through his available images the majority are velvia, only in the last few years has he been using digital extensively and in most galleries there are still some images being shown that are from film.

While many landscape shooters like a little less shouting and really arenít drawn to his work, the challenge of making money is a real one.  There are more and more photography galleries popping up, and succeeding, and almost all are doing it with this same approach.  The appeal is strong. In Park City there are now 4 photographers selling their work on main street and another nearby in a shopping center. Other than Mangleson, they are all using either aluminum or face mounted Fujiflex (Fatali face mounts to museum glass, the others to acrylic).  The two presentations (facemount or aluminum) look virtually identical ... high gloss, crisp saturated colors. Even Mangleson has some work this way, and he seems to be moving from canvas in this direction. Two photographers who used to sell more traditionally presented work are gone, replaced with these.  Every where you go, (Las Vegas, Hawaii) this is what is being shown and sold.   Just how it is.  The demographic of buying public who can afford the work likes the look, they like the crisp colors.

Another reason I think some migrate to this presentation is the challenge of size.  Most of these photographers are trying to sell large work (up to 4x10 feet).  Itís really tough to present a piece this large and protect it.  glass isnít a viable option, and acrylic at this size will bow and warp.  By face mounting the work, then bonding that to dibond or other stiffener they get a nice flat presentation.  

I feel more like you, I prefer a well printed pigment print in a more traditional presentation, with perhaps a little different twist (such as floated or triple matted).  But if I were to open a gallery, Iím not sure it would be successful.  I also havenít found a real answer to presenting my work in large sizes. Panoís arenít as bad, the bowing of the acrylic is acceptable, but other formats not so great.
« Last Edit: November 22, 2013, 06:03:16 pm by Wayne Fox »
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ddolde

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2015, 02:23:17 pm »

Here's another option that is similar.  I use Digital One Color in San Diego for this service, they charge $18/sf.

They make a Lightjet print on Fujiflex Supergloss then mount it to 3mm diBond. Then it's laminated with semi gloss film. 

MUCH cheaper than an acrylic face mount and while it has a low sheen, it's not so reflective.  I always frame these with a linen liner and one of my handmade hardwood frames. 
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bill t.

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #29 on: January 14, 2015, 04:42:28 pm »

For those considering facemount, I had a demonstration of a new (to me) acrylic product from Tru Vue named "TruLife."  It's an anti reflection sheet designed specifically for facemounting.  What seemed most remarkable is that it embodies antistatic technology I have not seen in previous peel-off glazing products.

Here in usually dry New Mexico when I peel away a cover sheet from plex I can sense the static field it generates, beckoning to dust and cat hairs and little bits of shattered Gatorfoam from every corner of the room.

Not so with TruLife.  The technician took minimal special precautions, although he was wearing an electronic industry antistatic wrist strap.  With a strong raking light across the surface as it fed into the rollers dust easily blew away without cling using a gentle stream of filtered shop air, and he was even picking little pieces of dust off with his antistatified finger tips, in areas where the cover sheet had just been peeled.  This is in very dramatic contrast to my previous tests, where static seemed an insurmountable problem that put the yield down to about 2 for 3 on a good day.  The tech claimed that the anit-static properties of the plex even transfered to the print itself as it approached the rollers.

Facemount is potentially a very efficient process for those involved in production level work, once you've overcome the technical learning curve and have solved your working space related issues.  It's a very fast process that takes you in very short time from a print to an artwork package ready for framing.  But you do need to dedicate a clean area to it.

The reflection properties of the TruLife package is excellent.  Not so good as Museum Glass or Optium, but very good indeed.  The reflections from eye-level windows and room lights that bedevil ordinary framed artwork are almost completely suppressed.  It's mainly the reflections from the surface of the plex that kept me away from facemounting.  Unless presented in a blackhole environment with lights positioned very high, like Mr. Lik's galleries, the reflections are horrid.

My little brain is squirming with the commercial possibilities of artwork presentation that looks as gloriously rich and clear as those facemount prints, although I'm not yet sure how one would pass on the expense of the project based on the look alone, other than to millionaires.  One place it would work well is in galleries with my piece surrounded by others in standard framing, the TruLife would win that contest every time.  You gotta be competitive.

Has anybody here worked with TruLife yet?  Would like to hear about it.
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deanwork

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #30 on: January 14, 2015, 05:44:48 pm »

I researched this years ago when clients insisted on it and I was willing to waste my time fooling with it. First off I think it is old fashioned looking now in my opinion. It was all the rage with ad photographers in the 90s. Then the big C print Germans like Gursky, Demond, and Struth started exhibiting their massive Lamda prints face mounted ( Cindy Sherman did it probably 10 years before them with her 15 foot long Cibas). But even though they used C prints they did do the face mounting  right, which is Diasec. That is done by using liquid silicone. Lamont in Ny does Diasec. Very few labs in the US do.  I priced it once and it was several thousand bucks for one 40x60 print with shipping.

None of the big commercial labs here in Atlanta can even do the standard film face mounting worth a damn. I lost a ton of money having them try to do a show of 40x60s when someone insisted on it. Right c prints work a lot better, inkjet prints are most usually problematic.It was a total disaster. Even if it had worked you will run into two issues down the line. First is the problem with it delaminating over time with changes in temperature and humidity. This film adhesive was never designed to last a long time. It was made for temporary advertising display. I had a friend that had several expensive prints delaminate after a year or less. Second problem you have is the plexi is going to yellow over time, and that is a fact. Before it does that though it will probably get scratched after the first time it is shown.

The whole thing is a huge waste of time in my opinion. All that money and expense to look like some cheap Las Vegas trade show.
Ernst was right on target - of you want something close to that just mount an inexpensive rc print to aluminum and spray it with a uv coat. That will probably last longer than a crappy face mount. Another thing that will give you a very similar presentation is to mount to aluminum or some cheaper substrate and have that framed with the plexi right against the surface of the print. I mean it isn't a great idea for print permanence to leave it that way but for a show or something it is fine, and a hell of a lot cheaper than diasec.

john
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Phil Indeblanc

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #31 on: January 14, 2015, 08:54:05 pm »

framing the face mount would defeat the purpose. What makes it nice is the bleeding off the page look into a single background. No mat, no frame. clean presentation. Like looking out a window.

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deanwork

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #32 on: January 14, 2015, 09:09:20 pm »

Windows have frames too.
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bill t.

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2015, 09:12:40 pm »

Thanks for the comments John.

The thing I was seeing with the anti-reflective plex is that there was a sense of there being no surface between the viewer and the image.  That's what's impressive to me with the TruLife plex, and something completely lacking from the brutally reflective treatments used by Lik, Gursky, and that whole crew.  In web shots of those installations the overhead lights and often the opposite wall and viewer are very much in evidence.

Over the last few days I have been experimenting with glossy fine art paper double coated with PremierArt Print Shield, which produces the glossiest print surfaces I have ever seen and completely removes all residual bronzing and hazing, and in so doing greatly enhances tonal separation in very dark shadows without upsetting brighter values.  As Ernst suggested those are essentially equivalent to facemounting if one can get them mounted very flat, which is doable but not easy.  But there is still a killer issue with strong surface reflections in many if not most typical kinds of installations, and that sense of the presence of a surface and the attendant reflections is what I would like to avoid, if possible.

I helped a friend with a facemount show several years ago, and it was the kind of disaster you mentioned.  In that case a cancer or ever-growing delaminated pock marks started developing, probably aided by heating from the bright halogen spots.  There was also some edge lift up.  The show closed early.  $1,000's down the drain.  End of story. Nothing was salvageable except the fancy aluminum standoffs.  OTOH my 13x19 surfacemount test plaques still look OK after about 4 years in relatively benign interior locations.

FWIW I have also seen a few very faded facemount pieces from very well known artists.  Diasec mounting is not fully resistant to UV in bright lighting, especially in skylighted interiors.  And I'm just dying to know when the $4.2M and $6.5M photographs are going to start delaminating.

Thanks for reminding me of Struth!  Great work, before there was Gursky there was Struth.

Hey Phil, don't windows have frames?  ;)  Hah, I see John just beat me to it!  From my perspective I don't care about facemounting as a style, but rather as a means to removing the sense of surface, frame or not.
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Phil Indeblanc

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2015, 09:26:32 pm »


Quote
Windows have frames too.

not my windows ;-)
I have no molding in my home. Made sure of that in the remodel.

One thing for sure, no matter what discouragements you get...Try it, small scalle, see how it goes, and then try it again to some point that you have to see if it is something to continue, or stop and farm out.
You will only learn, and possibly make it happen. The cost savings would be great, but knowing you did it will be....
Priceless!
« Last Edit: January 15, 2015, 03:05:12 am by Phil Indeblanc »
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deanwork

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2015, 07:25:37 pm »

Well that is totally right. Even the very expensive diasec face mounting is going to yellow due to the plexi. There is no getting around that. There is uv protected museum plexi but it is going to go too. If people are buying those giant c prints face mounted as an investment they better unload them before they wish they had never heard of these artists. A photo curator at a big museum once told me that they think of their role in collecting color photography as "renting the artists ideas" knowing full well they won't last. That's cool as long as the donors who are coughing up the cash to pay for them are informed of that.
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RachelleK

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #36 on: January 18, 2015, 12:19:06 pm »

Well that is totally right. Even the very expensive diasec face mounting is going to yellow due to the plexi. There is no getting around that. There is uv protected museum plexi but it is going to go too. If people are buying those giant c prints face mounted as an investment they better unload them before they wish they had never heard of these artists. A photo curator at a big museum once told me that they think of their role in collecting color photography as "renting the artists ideas" knowing full well they won't last. That's cool as long as the donors who are coughing up the cash to pay for them are informed of that.

So do the people who buy Lik prints at those prices get rights for the photograph so they can be printed again if they deteriorate and they will not be printed for other buyers?

R
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bill t.

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #37 on: January 18, 2015, 01:53:24 pm »

Typical in the business of art, the policy on sales is that the art is supplied "as is" with no returns.  Unless there is an agreement between the artist and buyer, the artist's responsibilities ends when the buyer walks off his property with the piece.  I have replaced a few pieces accidentally destroyed by my buyers, and that has bought me a "nice guy" and "trustworthy" reputation.  I just hope I don't finish last.

If one has a look at Pete's verbose web use policy, one might infer there could be some tall fences to jump along the path to replacements.  Or not.

Please forgive me for adding this, it's kinda interesting though only vaguely related.  Nothing like a good Sunday morning rant.

http://scottreither.com/blogwp/2013/02/02/are-peter-lik-prospective-buyers-becoming-more-savvy/
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RachelleK

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #38 on: January 18, 2015, 04:38:44 pm »

Typical in the business of art, the policy on sales is that the art is supplied "as is" with no returns.  Unless there is an agreement between the artist and buyer, the artist's responsibilities ends when the buyer walks off his property with the piece.  I have replaced a few pieces accidentally destroyed by my buyers, and that has bought me a "nice guy" and "trustworthy" reputation.  I just hope I don't finish last.

If one has a look at Pete's verbose web use policy, one might infer there could be some tall fences to jump along the path to replacements.  Or not.

Please forgive me for adding this, it's kinda interesting though only vaguely related.  Nothing like a good Sunday morning rant.

http://scottreither.com/blogwp/2013/02/02/are-peter-lik-prospective-buyers-becoming-more-savvy/

Amazing.  "Limited" prints of 950?

R
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bill t.

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Re: Do-it-yourself Acrylic Facemount vs Pay To Have It Done
« Reply #39 on: January 18, 2015, 05:49:29 pm »

It was only 750 a couple years ago.  And the $6.5M piece had been in circulation for a very long time, there must be a lot of pieces out there.  Nothing pisses me off more than somebody who is wildly more successful at what I do than me.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 05:51:22 pm by bill t. »
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