Most people would be excited to meet the legendary celebrity photographer Terry O'Neill, and Simon Claridge was no exception. Following their "meeting of minds", the pair embarked on Simon's most ambitious project to date: Diamond Dust.
For the first time in history, Terry's iconic photographs have been translated into silkscreen prints - complete with Simon's signature diamond dust treatment.
In his latest collection of limited edition diamond dust silkscreen prints, Simon Claridge has taken iconic images from the hallowed archives of legendary English photographer Terry O’Neill.In a career spanning more than half a century, O’Neill pioneered the iconic celebrity portrait and became famed for his instinct and ability to capture his subjects in candid,and sometimes unorthodox, poses and locations. Charismatic and charming, O’Neill possesses the elusive quality, as powerful as it is indefinable, that puts people at easein his presence. His portraits, which can be found hanging in galleries and private collections around the world, are a visual timeline chronicling the movements of major names from the Hollywood elite, to rock and roll stars and even royalty from the 1960sonwards. He has been credited with changing the face of photography, and was recognised by The Royal Society of Arts with a rare Centenary Medal, of which only one dozen have ever been awarded.Representing a worldwide first, O’Neill’s photography has never before been translated into a silkscreen print, much less had Claridge’s signature diamond dust treatment.Keen that his interpretation should celebrate and not dominate these seminal portraits, Claridge’s vision for this body of work was, above all, to retain the essence of the original exposures. His silkscreen renderings with diamond dust have been executed thoughtfully,to showcase the style of both artists, ensuing these editions sit comfortably alongside both parties’ previous collections. Adding to the self-imposed pressure Claridge felt inworking with some of O’Neill’s most famous portraits, he also found himself faced with technical challenges during the production of this edition. So beautifully lit are the original images, he found the reproduction stretched even his expertise with the silkscreen printing process.Also an accomplished photographer himself, Claridge has long admired the work of Terry O’Neill. For that admiration now to be mutual is a source of great pride for him. Putting paid to the common misconception that one must never meet their heroes for fear of them not living up to expectations, Claridge describes the collaboration as “a meeting of minds” between two fellow artists, each with an appreciation for the other’s style. After a career spent photographing and meeting his own idols, it is rather fitting for O’Neill that this project should render him the subject of a creative output from a fellow artist, especially one who holds him in the same regard as O’Neill held the icons he captured with his lens.