The Artist’s Proof

This is an important note for you to know, if you’re a photographer who wants to start doing fine art photography and exhibiting it in the art market circuit (art galleries), or if you’re an art collector who’s starting looking for photography.

An artist’s proof is a first impression of a print done by the artist to see if the current printing is conforming his idea of the final printing. Usually an artist who works with printings (photography, engraving, etc) does a first proof to check the tones, colours, etc so he can correct the final editions. A proof may show an incomplete image, often called working proof or trial impression, but is more common do to the proofs of author with the whole image to be printed.

Artist’s proofs are not included in the count of the limited edition, which in photography is usually of 5/5: the considered original to keep the art market value of the photograph.

Exhibitors, Curators and especially Art Collectors usually prefer final artist’s proofs even when they are identical to the main edition. An artist’s proof has special value because of its extra rarity and its possible differences from the “standard” print, factors that are often reflected in its price.

Horned, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Horned, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Flower Power, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Flower Power, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

As I wrote at the article about Art Collectors, some clients prefer the #1 of 5, or the #2 of 5, however, the proofs of artists are the most desired in the art world. This also happens because the artist’s proof is done by the artist’s hands, and when we decide that the result is good, the limited editions of 5/5 are done by the lab techs.

Doble Smoking, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Doble Smoking, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Smokey Face, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Smokey Face, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Since I use to work and print my 5/5 limited editions in large sizes (usually 80x80cm / 31.5″x31.5″), I often do a very first proof of author in a smaller size or with just a part of the final image to check tones, contrasts, etc if it’s the way I really want, on the paper I use to print the limited editions so I can see how it all work. These trial impressions that I do, are often in a maximum length of 50cm (19.7″) using just the main part of the final image. Only after my approval or any detail changed if necessary, I do the final artist’s proof, now with the size of the original limited editions of 5/5.

So the very first artist’s proofs are done with only the main part of the image, not the whole photograph. The final artist’s proof on the real size, are then the whole image of the final photograph. And when it’s everything perfect, the limited edition is printed following the commissions/purchases by the clients.

I recently found a folder with some of my first proofs of artist that I’m now making available to the art market, especially to art-collectors who are searching for incomplete and unique artist’s proofs. I know that some art collectors only own these first artist’s proofs. So here I am showing them for the very first time.

Chicken Head, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Chicken Head, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Daisy, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Daisy, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Flower Hat, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Flower Hat, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Mask #3, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Mask #3, first A/P, by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Octopus Head, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Octopus Head, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Feather, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Feather, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

These artist’s proofs are all unique 1/1, with maximum length of 50cm (19.7″), printed in Baryta Harman/Hahnemühle paper, and signed in the back.

Most of them belong to my series Oneness, and once these artist’s proofs are just the main part of the photo, you can see the whole images here and here in the original square format.

Voodoo Dance #2, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Voodoo Dance #2, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Voodoo Dance #1, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Voodoo Dance #1, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

These artworks, the unique 1/1 Artist’s Proofs, are being shown for the very first time here and were never been exhibited anywhere, so if you’re interest in purchasing them, please contact now the artist, Gonzalo Bénard through his email.

Weeper #2, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Weeper #2, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

FilGood, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

FilGood, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

The Widow, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

The Widow, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

(more info about “Artist’s Proof” can be found in wikipedia)

Now you see me, Now you don't, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Now you see me, Now you don’t, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Mud Feet, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

Mud Feet, first A/P by ©Gonzalo Bénard

text by ©Gonzalo Bénard for 2HeadS
Feb, 2013
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For any other contact about 2HeadS or my Photographic Work, from Art Galleries, Curators, Art Collectors, etc, please use the GBénard/2HeadS email. Thank you.

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