Beyond Printmaking: From Monoprints to Mixed Media

Monoprint + Collage = Mixed Media (print by Larry Yanez)

This blog recently featured entries on the history of printmaking and just what the heck a monoprint is. Today we’re talking about the future of printmaking in two words: mixed media. As much time as we at Xico spend on educating people about the different types of prints and their histories, the truth is that those categories are becoming less and less relevant to artists. A lot of the new artwork, including prints, that comes into the Xico galería falls into the category of “mixed media”. This is a term that galleries use for artwork that doesn’t fall into any of the usual categories (acrylic, oil, pastel, lithograph etc).

Did the artist create a monoprint, then paint over parts of the print? That’s mixed media.

Did the artist make a digital print and use it as the background of a collage? That’s mixed media.

Did the artist carve a woodblock and use it to stamp on top of a silkscreen print? That’s mixed media.

These are all examples of real pieces of artwork at Xico. The combination of new technology (like digital prints) and the need to innovate to stay competitive in troubled economic times is leading more and more artists to disregard the old categories of art. They are finding freedom and new creative frontiers by mixing media.

Galleries may be wary of mixed media pieces because they are difficult to price and may be difficult to explain to collectors, but here at Xico, we’re excited by the possibilities.