Flowers of Evil
Platinum Prints by Eikoh Hosoe, Poems by Charles Baudelaire
21ST Editions, 2006
Unique BAT (Bon a Tirer) Presentation Copy
Features 11 Fully Signed Hand Printed Platinum Prints
History: In 2006, renowned fine press photography book publisher 21ST Editions released Flowers of Evil. This oversized handmade book, in an edition of only 60 signed and numbered copies, featured the poetry of Charles Baudelaire and was illustrated with 10 bound original platinum prints and 1 free standing platinum print entitled 'Man and Woman No. 24'. The prints are among Japanese master photographer Eikoh Hosoe’s most classic and sought after images. The platinum prints were produced by Stan Klimek of Stan Klimek Studios. This copy is the BAT (Bon a Tirer) copy of the book that was presented to Stan Klimek upon completion of the project. Each of the platinum prints is fully signed by Eikoh Hosoe. Please note that in the other copies of the book the prints are initialed by Hosoe and not fully signed.
About BAT (Bon a Tirer): BAT is a French acronym for Bon a Tirer (good to pull) a term that is used in the time honored print making tradition. The BAT is created by the Master Printer through the proofing process in collaboration with the artist or estate. Once the artist is satisfied with the print he will sign on the print “BAT” with his signature or if there was an estate it will be blind stamped. Once all of the BAT’s are signed these BAT’s become the reference prints for the edition to match. When the printer is finished printing the edition, the BAT’s and the completed prints are sent to the artist whereupon the artist will examine each print and compare it to the BAT before signing. The BAT is unique in that it is the genesis of the limited edition through the discovery of the printmaking process with the artist/printer collaboration. There is only one BAT created and it is gifted to the printer from the artist as a time honored way of thanking the printer.
Upon completion of the project, 21ST Editions publisher Steven Albahari presented the BAT to Stan Klimek. A Letter of Provenance from Stan Klimek is included with this edition as well as a letter from the publisher Steve Albahari to Stan Kilimek thanking him for his work on the project.
Details of the Book and Prints: The edition is a work of art unto itself. The book and print are contained in a deep purple-red raw silk-covered clamshell box (18-1/4 x 15-1/4 inches) with magnetized hinged clasp and title stamped in black on the cover, lined with red velvet and with Japanese title blind-stamped inside the lid. The book is a hardcover of matt black anodized aluminum boards with the title printed in Japanese in glossy black on the cover with a black leather spine. The book and prints measure 12.5” x 16” (landscape). The text was handset by the Press & Letterfundry of Michael & Winifred Bixley, letter pressed on 100% cotton Cranes Rag Paper at KatRan Press by Michael Russem. The master bookbinder for the twelve bound images was Mark Tomlinson, working with a design by Skolkin+Chickey. As previously stated, the master printmaker for the platinum prints was Stan Klimek of Stan Klimek Studios. The edition features 10 bound platinum prints by Eikoh Hosoe as well as a freestanding, signed platinum print, 'Man and Woman No. 24' (5-5/8 x 9 inches), signed in kanji in pencil on the lower right margin by Hosoe, and contained in a separate protective folder. The free standing print is suitable for framing.
The book has been signed in pencil on the colophon page by Eikoh Hosoe, John Wood (editor), and Steven Albahari (publisher). As mentioned previously, each of the platinum prints is signed in kanji on the lower right margin by Eikoh Hosoe. This is the only book containing fully signed platinum prints. All other copies are only initialed.
The limitation for the edition was 65 hand-numbered and signed copies. This is the BAT copy and has written in pencil on the limitation page, “This is number B.A.T., Printer’s Copy (Stan Klimek)”. A Letter of Provenance from Stan Klimek will be provided.
Condition: The book, free-standing print, and clamshell box are in MINT condition and are housed in the original custom made wooden shipping case.
From the Publisher: “Eikoh Hosoe’s platinum prints of strikingly rendered forms and sensuous embraces resonate with potent emotional power. This selection of classic images by Japan’s most revered photographer are united with the words of 19th century French poet Charles Baudelaire, a major influence on Hosoe. Baudelaire’s poems were said to have sent “a new shiver” through the art world, which is exactly what Eikoh Hosoe’s photographs did a century later. Presented in a hand crafted binding, Hosoe’s images and Baudelaire’s poems, in a new translation by John Wood, offer collectors a wide array of sensual and intellectual experiences.”
Photographs of the book, free standing platinum print, and several photographs contained in the book appear in the photo section of the listing.