Photographic artist Duane Conliffe, who was profiled in Vol. 3, No. 5 of LexJet’s In Focus newsletter, is proud to report he is one of the featured artists at The Art of Living Black Exhibition at The Richmond Art Center in Richmond, CA from Jan. 26-March 13.
The first major public exposure of the exhibition will take place Saturday, Feb. 20 during an artist’s reception. Conliffe’s portion of the exhibition is built around Redhead—The Ferrari Testarossa Art Photography Book that he produced earlier this year.
“The Redhead project began when a San Francisco car collector asked me to create a very special, high-quality book about one of his prized vehicles, the 1988 Ferrari Testarossa,” explains Conliffe. “He was looking for something unique to express his appreciation for the extreme levels of craftsmanship throughout this car as well as the superb quality of the driving experience.”
Conliffe believes he was approached to create the one-of-a-kind book, because of his combination of experience photographing motorsports, auto and motorcycle events and expertise in bookmaking. He was honored to accept the project.
“The Ferrari Testarossa was named after the Testa Rossa sports racing car series from the late 1950s,” says Conliffe.”And in fact, Testarossa means Redhead in Italian. This ‘redhead’ in the sports car refers to the red painted camshaft covers on the 12 cylinder engine.”
Conliffe photographed the Testarossa in four sessions over a nine-month time span. He shot the exotic sports car at various locations in San Francisco and Alameda, CA, with the intention of telling the story of the car through purely visual means.
“The handcrafted details of the Testarossa are great subjects for any photographer,” notes Conliffe,“but I also wanted to portray the driving experience through my photography because that is what an extreme sports car like this is made for.”
After all the images had been captured, Conliffe spent several weeks in editing, post processing and book design. He paid a lot of attention to the sequence of images on the pages in order to create the right visual flow for the viewer.
“In my opinion, the ultimate expression of the photographer is the fine art photographic print. So one of the goals of this project was to use my digital-printing skills to create unique high-end artwork,” says Conliffe. The book pages were printed on Moab Entrada 190 gsm, 100% cotton, double-sided, bright paper. The finished pages were mounted into the Moab Chinle Digital Book black leather cover.“This makes a first-class presentation when finished off with the black slip-case that is provided with the book cover.” notes Conliffe.
Judging from the reactions he got from his colleagues in photography and art, he realized that the book project was really something special.
“So, I decided to expand the scope of this project,” said Conliffe. “I decided to present the book as part of an annual fine-art exhibition that I have participated in for the last seven years.”
Visitors to the exhibit at The Richmond Art Center will see the one-of-a-kind book on display, but they won’t be able to thumb through its pages. Instead, Conliffe has set up an HP Dreamscreen 100 digital display to run a continuous slideshow of all 75 images featured in the Redhead book. In addition, he converted five of the best images from the book into 26 x 40 in. black-and-white prints. He output the prints on LexJet Sunset Select Matte Canvas, then coated and stretched them himself.
In keeping with the Art Center gallery hours, the HP Dreamscreen 100 is programmed to turn itself on at 11 am each day and shut itself off at 5 pm.
“It tends to draw viewers in because it is a dynamic display with a very sleek design,” says Conliffe. “It readily complements the quality of the “Redhead” photography and the ultra-stylish nature of the subject matter.”
Conliffe reports that the black-and white canvas prints have also drawn serious interest: “Black-and-white imaging has universal appeal,” he says. “Photographers, artists and the general public all seem to have a great affinity for this work. I noticed the same phenomenon last year when I presented a large-format black-and-white portrait photographic exhibition on LexJet Water-Resistant Satin Cloth.”
The canvases are protected with Golden Archival Varnish with UVLS (Gloss). “I sprayed the varnish in two cross-directional coats, let the coats dry for 20 minutes, and then sprayed with two more cross directional coats,” explains Conliffe. “Then, I let the coated canvas dry overnight. After the canvases were dry, I stretched and mounted them to heavyweight stretcher bars and installed hanging hardware. This presentation is very clean and has a lot of impact.”
On Saturday, Feb. 20, Conliffe is participating in the Artist Talks from 1 to 2:30 pm before the Artist Reception is held from 3:00 to 5:00 pm. More information can be found at The Richmond Art Center website.
Conliffe is also participating in a satellite exhibition that features 13 of the 53 artists showcased at The Art of Living Black exhibition. This show will be held at Mills College in Oakland on Feb. 27 and 28.
He wouldn’t mind at all if this exposure resulted in other art-book commissions from other car collectors. He can reached through his website: www.DuaneConliffe.com