Sunday, 27 January 2013

Jack Webb Suspects His Parents

I have spent weeks trying to remember the name of this photographer, I read an article about him last year and I didnt even bother looking at what the magazine was called! I consequently spent every morning in the magazine aisle of the college library for the first month of term, alongside many evenings on google typing in descriptions of his photography, which got me some very strange results but his images never came up. And then finally all my hard work paid off when on Wednesday I found it, it was hiding away in Hotshoe Magazine on the bottom shelf at the very back of the library, you cannot imagine the joy I felt when finding it - thankfully no one was in the library that early to see my celebration dance! But enough about me and my search for this fantastic innovative photographer, I should actually start talking about Jack Webb himself.

His project 'Jack Webb Suspects His Parents' started in 1999 when he began placing ads in British papers and magazines stating;

'Pro­fes­sional pho­tog­ra­pher seeks gen­uine cou­ples for art-based project around sex and sex­u­al­ity.’ 

Now many will read this post and instantly think PORN!! or that no one in their right mind would reply to his ads but many did reply, and of those many, five couples were photographed, most inviting Jack into their homes and one to a local reservoir on a freezing November day. Jack Webb said that he was looking for couples who weren't wanting to show off. The results are non-idealized, both raw and astonishingly touching at the same time. "The paradox of these photographs," as Anouchka Grose's text in the book states, "is that they try to document something private, something that is not meant to be seen."

"It took Jack Webb nearly three years to find and shoot his sub­jects. Webb’s images live in a world almost as for­eign to us now as the idea of enter­ing a stranger’s bed­room. Shot on film, the images sit in a world of cel­lu­loid embed­ded with a spe­cific level of trust, but also a sense of dan­ger and the unknown between pho­tog­ra­pher and sub­ject, a rela­tion­ship that has changed so dras­ti­cally with the imme­di­acy of the dig­i­tal image. In addi­tion, Webb found his sub­jects before the height of the Inter­net changed the way we meet, inter­act and address peo­ple. By find­ing these cou­ples through an ad in the news­pa­per Webb’s sub­jects are freed from the instant-fame cul­ture the Inter­net has cre­ated. Instead, they exhibit a rare oppor­tu­nity in today’s world to find true inti­mate moments in a stranger’s world."

I have emailed Dashwood Books in the US to see if they post to the UK because they are the only place selling his book!! I have not yet heard back but I'm keeping my fingers crossed!!
But anyways, if you don't like nudity I suggest you don't scroll down any further and maybe you should Google some pictures of kittens instead....

The photograph that encompasses the cover of the book - it is definately eye catching!

That daring couple on the cold November day!

I hope you haven't been too shocked and traumatised by this post, because I personally think Webb's photography is bloody fantastic!! As a major fan of Nan Goldin's work, there are definately similarities between hers and Webb's work, the raw, unmanipulated images and the subject matter, so I guess that is what drew me in when I first read about his work and why I endeavoured to find that magazine article for over a month!

All images: All rights reserved © 2013 Jack Webb

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