Based in Richmond, Virginia, Justin James Reed’s work and artists’ books have been exhibited widely, including the RISD Museum of Art (Providence, RI), Extra Extra Gallery (Philadelphia, PA), Arnhem Mode Biennale (Arnhem, Netherlands), Smack Mellon (Brooklyn, NY), Depot II Gallery (Sydney, Australia), and the Maison d’art Bernard Anthonioz (Nogent-sur-Marne, France). His most recent book, “2013,” published by Horses Think Press (Brooklyn, NY), was selected as one of the best photobooks of 2012 by Sebastian Hau (British Journal of Photography) and Shane Lavalette (Photo-eye Magazine), a review is featured in issue 003 of “The Photobook Review” (Aperture). Reed is a member of the international collective, Piece of Cake, and an Assistant Professor of Art Foundation and Photography & Film at Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Arts.
The tenuous link between seeing and understanding is a theme that runs through much of my work. It is also the basis of why, for me, photography is such an intriguing tool to engage. I find that its singular ability to render lifelike detail and inherent lack of specificity, in regard to a fixed meaning or interpretation, make it an ideal medium to work with. The landscape, which has long been a venue to project ideas upon, is the primary backdrop for my work and the subject I most often return to for inspiration.
My body of work “In Heaven,” deals with photographic materials directly, utilizing them to subvert meaning and question representational interpretations of the medium. In this series I am employing a large format cameras high level of precision, fidelity and optical clarity to explore abstraction. These strategies are meant to engage the viewer through perceptual experience itself, implicating them in the mysterious and often open-ended aspects of photography that are most interesting to me.