- by Barney Davey
One of the most successful print artists ever is Terry Redlin. According to his www.redlinart.com Web site, he’s sold more than 2 million prints and even more licensed images of his work over the past 25 years. Those are achievements few artists ever enjoy.
Enjoyment is at the heart of Redlin’s immediately recognizable work, as is nostalgia. The “Spring Fever” piece shown here captures both sentiments and embodies Redlin’s enormous talent. With sales totaling nearly 30,000 images, the image illustrates his reach into the marketplace.
His hometown newspaper recently ran an article on him titled, Demand for Redlin’s work spikes – Artist’s retirement increases interest in prints, but not value. The article provides insights and praise along with some criticism and discourse regarding the terms “limited edition”, and prints vs. reproductions. The arguments are not new, but it’s interesting to see them covered in a daily newspaper, especially the hometown paper in a relatively small community. One would have expected the rah-rah homer attitude to be in play. Go figure.
Redlin will turn 70 this year and he plans to enjoy his retirement. He’ll do so with a legacy firmly in place courtesy of the Redlin Art Center in Watertown, South Dakota. A place he has always called home. Redlin’s son, Charles, designed and spearheaded the center.
Redlin’s partnership with his son and other family members is yet another example of an artist who succeeded with the help of a family run business. Whenever this dynamic is in play, it creates a synergistic effect hard to downplay in its importance to an artist’s success. Of course, all the help in the world won’t make a difference if the artist doesn’t have the talent and stamina to create a body of work that resonates with buyers, collectors and fans.
It goes without saying Terry Redlin had the ability to tap deeply into the desires of his buying public. Whether wildlife or Americana, his work is as emotive as it gets for most people. I’ve watched reactions numerous times in galleries where his work was displayed and it is was always without fail one of delight and wonder to the viewer. What a gift he has, and what a gift he has shared with tens of thousands of people? All the best to Terry for a fruitful, fun, relaxing, well-deserved retirement!