artist book: a work of art realized in the form of a book.
The definition may sound simple, but the world of artist books can be a bewildering place. From the familiar pairing of images and text, to sculptures created out of paper and complicated bindings that create a performance each time the book is opened, nearly anything can be called an artist book if there is intention and consideration. This series showcases artists from different realms of the art world exploring the structure and meaning of the book.
Michael Murray sees the world in 360 degrees. He has spent the last four years mastering his unique photographic process called “panoptical photography.” This technique renders places and landscapes in 360 degrees where they become their own self-contained spherical spaces or “worlds.” Growing up near Rochester, New York, where his father worked at Eastman Kodak, Murray spent most of his young life involved with photography. After moving to New York City to sell his artwork in Central Park, a chance meeting with 21st Editions publisher Steven Albahari led to an opportunity to photograph around the world. The resulting images are published in Worlds Apart, a new book by 21st Editions.
Handcrafted in New England, Worlds Apart is comprised of 15 bound and 16 loose pigment ink prints plus two images printed on anodized aluminum which are presented as an A-frame sculpture. Featuring texts by Gideon Bosker and John Stauffer, as well as a poem by John Wood, Worlds Apart is a truly collaborative works of art. The inspiration for the book’s design and construction comes from the livre d’artistes of the past. Although the edition run is 46, 15.5 x 15.5 inch copies, the inlays of stone, mother of pearl, stingray, wood, and copper make each book a unique art object and one of the most ambitious bindings that 21st Editions has created.