The Born To Run Contact Sheet by Eric Meola

Here’s some really exciting news of a beautiful limited edition piece that we are launching with Eric Meola. Many people will be familiar with Eric’s portrait of Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons taken on June 20, 1975.  I’m talking, of course, about the classic Born To Run cover photograph. 

When Columbia Records art director John Berg was asked to show his lifetime body of work at the prestigious Guild Hall in East Hampton, NY, Eric made a contact sheet for him, which shows 31 frames from among two of the nineteen rolls he shot on that June day.

Alongside, you can see an extract, while down below you can see the whole contact sheet. Incredible isn’t it ?

The great news is that this beautiful contact sheet is now available to buy as a limited edition for you to frame and hang on your wall.

Contact sheets like this just don’t work in small sizes, because the individual images need to be a certain size before you can appreciate the detail. As a result this limited edition is only available in two large physical sizes – which for the sake of convenience let’s call ‘big’ and ‘bigger’.  The smaller of the two (‘big’) has an image area measuring a very generous 20 x 25 inches (51 x 64 cm), in an edition of 25 in this size, while the larger version (‘bigger’) has an image area measuring a huge 36 x 45 inches (91 x 114 cm) in an edition of 15. 

To give you some perspective on the scale of the bigger version, each individual frame measures 4 x 6 inches.

Usually Eric offers his images in a maximum total edition of 30, spread over different sizes. This piece has a maximum of 40 (25 big, 15 bigger) examples, and because this is more than the norm, the entry level price is being kept much keener than equivalent pieces in the same physical sizes.

There are some nice points of detail to draw to your attention:

  • Many of these frames are not in either of Eric’s Born To Run books and have never been offered as individual prints. 
  • You get to see individual frame numbers and entire uncropped images
  • Top row, second in from the left, portrait rather than landscape orientation, is a stunning but little known shot of Bruce and Clarence
  • Check out frame 12A, third row, second in from the left.  Look familiar ?  You can see why this is the money shot. ( a close up extract is above)

We are taking orders now. This link takes you to the price and size info for an unframed photograph.

If you are in the UK and would like us to organise framing, get in touch with us separately at the gallery, as frames can’t be ordered online.  As a guide, overall framed size work out as approximately 32 x 35 inches for the smaller version and approximately 48 x 55 inches for the large size. 

I hope you love this beautiful piece and can make room for it in your life, be it at home, in your office, or both. The contact sheet would make an amazing Christmas gift.  Have you been good enough this year?



Certificate of authenticity

One question that people sometimes ask is ‘What is to stop Eric (or any photographer) creating a new edition of a popular piece when an existing edition sells out?’  It’s a fair question of course, and it is important for any purchaser to be comfortable that the piece they are buying really is limited. 

I thought it was worth explaining how Eric Meola does this, because in my view he goes above and beyond usual industry standards and sets a benchmark in this area. Eric’s edition sizes are low: typically just 30 signed, numbered examples of an image from his archive are offered for sale to collectors. Eric specifies the physical sizes and edition sizes for each piece at the outset, and sticks to that. No new sizes are offered once a piece is launched.

The proof of the pudding is actually in the eating. When people ask about particular examples of Eric’s work that have sold out, sometimes they ask if he will ever create a ‘new’ edition of the image. The answer is always a resounding ‘no’ – because that just isn’t possible.

Eric always supplies a signed, dated, certificate of authenticity to accompany each of his photographs – this is a legally binding document that confirms all these points, and gives purchasers the comfort they should expect. You can see a proof of a certificate for the Born To Run contact sheet reproduced here.

On occasion, Eric will donate a print outside the edition (a signed artist’s proof) to raise money for one of the charities or food banks that Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons support(ed). To date, that has enabled Eric to donate more than $200,000 to those charities. The number of artists proofs is strictly governed as well, and that is set out in the certificate that accompanies each limited edition photograph. For example there can only ever be a maximum of 5 artists proofs in each size of the Born To Run contact sheet.