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From Our Flat Files: Limited Edition Books by Raymond Meeks

Last month, I wrote about three different gallery artists and their exquisite prints that reside in our flat files here at photo-eye Gallery. In this installment, I will focus on the artist books of Raymond Meeks, some of which also come with limited edition prints.

Likeness of Reality by Raymond Meeks, Edition of 15, $1500

Likeness of Reality
front cover detail
Likeness of Reality is one of Raymond Meeks' handmade artist books. It showcases his beautiful black & white photographs and unique design sense, with small details including a photograph printed on the velum cover, pictured left. His attention to these small details elevates the book to an art-object; one that can be held, appreciated and discovered many times over. The photographs were made in Greenland, many of which were tipped-in. Likeness of Reality is now out-of-print, however photo-eye Gallery has one copy available. Please email Erin Azouz to inquire about its availability.

The Orchard series, published by Silas Finch, is a set of collaborative book projects between Raymond Meeks and various writers and photographers. Meeks explains, "each journal strives to reach beyond a documentary approach and offer a visual conversation between artist, subject and audience."

Published in 2010, the first volume, Crime Victims Chronicle, is a collaboration between Raymond Meeks and photographer Deborah Luster who provides a set of beautiful black & white photographs from her series Tooth for an Eye, as well as Rose Preston who provides the text from her book, Crime Victims Guidebook. The resulting publication, Crime Victims Chronicle, is a stellar example of the old adage, two heads are better than one. In this case, three heads are even better than two.

Orchard, Volume 1: Crime Victims Chronicle – Patron Edition, $750
By Raymond Meeks, Deborah Luster and Rose Preston

The three artists' contributions work together to produce a symbiotic book focusing on a centralized issue -- crime. Crime Victims Chronicle was originally sold in a Contributor edition of 100 copies and Sustainer edition of 75 copies -- both of which have since sold out. However, the Patron edition of 25 copies is still available as of today for $750, which comes with an aluminum-mounted silver halide transparency by Deborah Luster, as pictured above left.

The second volume, Not Seen | Not Said was a collaboration with Wes Mills, whose fourteen tipped-in drawings work beautifully with Meeks' photographs -- some of which depict Mills walking among rocky cliffs and expansive landscapes in Oregon. The Contributor edition of 100 is sold out, but the Sustainer (edition of 75) and Patron (edition of 15) are still available. Melanie McWhorter wrote about this book on the photo-eye Blog.

Orchard, Volume 3: Idyll Sustainer Edition – $225
By Raymond Meeks and Mark Steinmetz
The third and most recent volume in the Orchard series, Idyll, comes with two books. Though I hate to pick favorites, Meeks has clearly hit his stride in collaborative projects here. In the first book, Steinmetz and Meeks seamlessly blend two bodies of black & white work in a resolved edit and sequence. The second book consists entirely of photographs by Steinmetz with another great edit and sequence from another body of work. Idyll is still available in the Sustainer Edition ($225) and Patron Edition ($750). The Patron Edition is presented in a beautiful walnut box and comes with two silver gelatin prints.

In short, Raymond Meeks is a master of the artist book. The subtle details from tipped-in photographs and drawings to the clean and effective design makes them not just books but works of art. In the case of Likeness of Reality and the Orchard books in the Patron edition, you also receive an original print. As a represented gallery artist, photo-eye also has a selection of prints by Raymond Meeks. If you are interested in acquiring any of the books or individual prints, please contact the gallery.

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