Art posters have traditionally been the kind of thing picked up in museum gift shops, and are often limited to reproductions of famous paintings by Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh or Warhol. Finding quality prints of more contemporary art has always been a challenge. Now, a new project called WAX Poster is working directly with artists to produce a growing collection of unique, high-quality prints using archival processes and fade-resistant inks. Recently started in California by Camilla Trigano, WAX Poster’s start is strong, collaborating with an impressive roster of artists led by Ai Weiwei, Matthew Porter and Hunter S Thompson. We spoke with Trigano about getting great art out to as many people as possible.
Your mission statement says that you “celebrate the misfits, the misanthropes, the outsiders, the outcasts, the young, and the old.” Can you expand on what you mean by that?
At Wax Poster, we are all about the artist. We want to champion them. Many artists during their lifetime have been marginalized, then after death, championed. These are our cultural heroes. They are extremely courageous—courageous to speak when others may be afraid to. To express themselves when others may be threatened. We champion Ai Weiwei as a true courage hero. He is literally putting his life on the line for what he believes. There is no peace without freedom of expression and self-determination. Leroy Grannis and Hugh Holland have been witnesses of an era and their iconic images express more than photos; they strike a cord that touches every soul. We don’t want to show just pretty images, we want people to feel connected to these artists.
Many of the current works you’re offering, such as Matthew Porter’s iconic “flying car” image, are from artists connected with M+B Gallery in Los Angeles, which happens to be owned by your husband Benjamin Trigano. How has your proximity to the art business influenced your goals for WAX?
It was never really tied to M+B. Benjamin has fantastic relationships with his artists and that was a natural direction to move. We have just begun, we’re only a few months into this. We have an obligation to champion, steward, and work hard for our artists to get them in front of as many people as possible. Our proximity to the art world is simply part of how we work. We identify with artists and love being around creative people.
One of the unexpected highlights in your initial collection was the amazing image of Ai Weiwei giving the finger to Tiananmen Square, where 100% of the profits will benefit organizations that promote free-speech and self-expression. Would you be willing to share any new projects or artists you plan to add to the expanding collection?
I hope customers understand that that is what we’re all about. Championing those courageous artists that express themselves in so many mediums. We have many ideas and artists at the beginning of their careers; artists at the end of their careers; artists that are no longer around that we’d love to publish, in all mediums: writers, filmmakers, painters, performance artists, etc. There are so many incredible images that people cannot have in their home because they are either sold-out editions or have never really been seen before. We want to bring these image to life.
Each poster measures 24×36 inches, ships free within the US for $60 and is available at WAX Poster.
Images by Jonah Samson