Mulder has spent the 40 years of his career celebrating and promoting the diversity, originality and beauty of the printed medium, whether etching, lithograph or other technique. He started spanning the entire history of printmaking, from the 1460s to his day, but now he specialises in Picasso, whose prints often came out in editions of 50. That doesn’t make them easy to acquire, however, price aside: many prints ‘are still disappearing at an enormous rate into institutions’ who can’t afford original paintings or drawings, thus perhaps only half of an edition is still in private hands. At least they are ‘relatively inexpensive, given their arthistorical importance’. But too often, says Mulder, his field of dealing and advising — prints — is misperceived by collectors. ‘The word “print” is the same word as for a reproduction, but original printmaking, where the artist works directly on the plates, is a very different animal… There’s much more creativity involved.’ Printmaking has had a resurgence as Contemporary artists look for flexible, challenging, more affordable ways of making art. Prints go beyond creativity, though: they ‘have a really central part in the development of Western culture — you can’t imagine the dissemination of knowledge without pictorial images.’ Mulder, who received the CBE for his philanthropic activities, which included founding the Dragons’ Den-style Funding Network, was the only person Spear’s spoke to who already owned the artwork of his dreams: Picasso’s Minotauromachy print a fierce chiaroscuro etching featuring the aggressive man-bull artist-stand-in.
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