How Mark McMahon Maximizes His Art Exposure with Gicleé Reproductions

Mark McMahon makes his own giclee reproductions of his watercolor paintings.

Here’s  a great example of how an enterprising artist has built a thriving career for himself and is successfully using in-studio printing and materials from LexJet to make his own giclée reproductions.

The tension between the creative urge and the need to eat isn’t new. Michelangelo spent as much time lobbying the Pope and Medici families to fund his art projects as he did painting and sculpting. However, Lake Forest, IL-based artist Mark McMahon seems to have managed to balance the economic realities of this world with the demands of the creative muses. A veritable institution in the Chicago area, the entrepreneurially minded watercolor artist has embraced many different technologies to promote, replicate and sell his work. Like his father before him, McMahon isn’t shy about marketing matters. And when inkjet-based gicleé technology emerged, it was as if McMahon had been anticipating it for decades.

Mark is the son of Franklin McMahon, an internationally known artist/reporter who chronicled five decades of twentieth-century history in sketches and watercolors – particularly Civil Rights events, space race NASA and presidential campaigns. Among other famous events in the elder McMahon’s portfolio is the 1960 Nixon Kennedy debate and the 1955 Emmett Till murder trial. On the wall near Mark McMahon’s fireplace is a reproduction of one of his father’s paintings of the 1969 Chicago Seven conspiracy trial.

Artist Mark McMahon used an Epson Stylus Pro wide-format printer and Hahnemühle German Etching 310 Digital Fine Art Paper from LexJet to print a reproduction of one of his father’s watercolor paintings from the coutroom of Chicago 7 Conspiracy trial in 1969. It was the trial in which seven defendants were charged with conspirary related to riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago. ©Franklin McMahon.

In some ways, this print represents the culmination of McMahon’s technological evolution over the years, as he explored methods that would allow him to increase his income while maintaining artistic integrity and pleasing his customers. Both he and his father have digitized thousands of their works and licensed them to Corbis.