RICK HOCK ARTIST RESIDENCY FUNDRAISER: Online Auction Thru Saturday December 19th

December 10, 2015
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©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Brienna” from “Memory City”

“I am living. I remember you.”—Marie Howe, “What the Living Do”

How do we memorialize someone as special as Rick Hock? Please join Alex and me in supporting a new artist residency in Rick’s honor at Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester, NY, a fitting memorial for someone who helped so many of us bring books and projects to fruition, including Memory City. Here’s the link to bid online on our donated Memory City prints (above and below) — as well as prints by Rick Hock and those donated by others Rick helped, including Alec Soth, Martin Parr, Paolo Pellegrin, Brenda Ann Kenneally, Gregory Halpern, Susan Meiselas: https://www.32auctions.com/VSW2015Auction

Lastly, thinking of Rick today, I dedicate the following poem to him, an elegy by one of my favorite poets, Marie Howe — who happened to be born in Rochester, NY, where Rick lived — and who also lost someone too soon, a younger brother…—Rebecca Norris Webb

I’ve been thinking: This is what the living do….What you finally gave up…

We want the spring to come and the winter to pass. We want whoever to call or not call, a letter, a kiss–we want more and more and then more of it…

But there are moments, walking, when I catch a glimpse of myself in the window glass…and I’m gripped by a cherishing so deep for my own blowing hair, chapped face, and unbuttoned coat that I’m speechless:

I am living. I remember you.

—Marie Howe, excerpt from “What the Living Do”

Rochester. Some downtown. Ontario Beach park dancing in former bathhouse

©Alex Webb, “Dancehall, Lake Ontario,” from “Memory City”

An Anniversary Slant Rhyme

November 13, 2015
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©Alex Webb, Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, 1996; our wedding invitation photo

What’s the nontraditional gift for a 16th wedding anniversary? For Alex and me today, a slant rhyme of poem (mine) and photograph (his), which was on our handmade wedding invitations. I love all those “rhyming” curves and rings and embraces and heavenly bodies… “A gift this distance we’ve traveled so far…”

MATRIMONY
One night I see Saturn ––
between Ninth and Tenth Street ––
naked and luminous
through the glass.
You look, too: white orb,
the ring of your laughter.
Floating home, you pull me
into your chest. I’m light,
mercury vapor, almost yours,
until the mortal woman returns,
all curves and memory,
your arm ringing my waist.
A gift, this distance
we’ve traveled so far.

Alex’s story behind the making of the image above, which is part of Up Close & Personal Magnum Photo Square Print sale, thru Friday, Nov. 13, 6pm EST:

“In 1996 after returning from the US-Mexico border, I showed my new work to Rebecca Norris, who I’d been seeing for some six months. When we came to this photograph from Nuevo Laredo, Rebecca smiled bemusedly and said, ‘muy romantico.’ Looking again, I began to see that it does indeed strike a different note. Although inhabited by those deep shadows that characterize much of my border work, this particular photograph is quieter, more lyrical. It’s as if it’s human moments—the couple embracing, the father holding his child—somehow manage to keep the darkness at bay, at least briefly.

Photographers don’t just find photographs; sometimes photographs find photographers. In retrospect, it hardly seems surprising that this photograph found me when it did—as I was falling for the remarkable woman and lyrical photographer who’s the love of my life.

Three years later, we printed this photograph on our wedding invitations.”—Alex Webb

Magnum Square Print Sale Thru Nov. 13

November 9, 2015

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FIVE DAYS ONLY:  Magnum Photos is offering Alex’s above print as part of its UP CLOSE & PERSONAL $100 SQUARE PRINT SALE.  The sale lasts through Nov. 13, which is fitting because that’s the day we were married 16 years ago this week (the photograph appeared on our wedding invitation), a day we both consider to be the best day of our lives, surrounded by loving family and friends.  All the proceeds from the sale will be used to fund our two new collaborative projects.

Here’s where you can order the print online. Many of you may already know this image because it’s in Alex’s “The Suffering of Light” book as well as our Aperture workshop book, “Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image.”  And below you’ll find Alex’s story behind the making of the photograph.—Rebecca

“In 1996 after returning from the US-Mexico border, I showed my new work to Rebecca Norris, who I’d been seeing for some six months. When we came to this photograph from Nuevo Laredo, Rebecca smiled bemusedly and said, ‘muy romantico.’ Looking again, I began to see that it does indeed strike a different note. Although inhabited by those deep shadows that characterize much of my border work, this particular photograph is quieter, more lyrical. It’s as if it’s human moments—the couple embracing, the father holding his child—somehow manage to keep the darkness at bay, at least briefly.

Photographers don’t just find photographs; sometimes photographs find photographers. In retrospect, it hardly seems surprising that this photograph found me when it did—as I was falling for the remarkable woman and lyrical photographer who’s the love of my life.

Three years later, we printed this photograph on our wedding invitations.”—Alex Webb

TWO LOOKS: Milan & Buffalo Almanack

September 21, 2015

 

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©Alex Webb, “Kochi, India, 2014,” from “Where Tomorrow is Yesterday,” Contrasto Galleria, Milan, Sept. 23-Nov. 21, 2015

Please join Alex at the artist reception of “Where Tomorrow is Yesterday: Photographs from India,” on Wed. Sept. 23, 6:30pm, at the Contrasto Galleria in Milan, and the exhibition will be up thru Nov. 21, 2015.  It’s featuring his commissioned work that he did on India for the Milano Expo.  And Rebecca’s “My Dakota” is featured in the Sept. issue of the new literary/photography quarterly, Buffalo Almanack.  Follow this link to see her work.

OTHER ALEX WEBB AND REBECCA NORRIS WEBB EXHIBITIONS

“Memory City: Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb,” Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco thru Nov. 14, 2015.  Signed “Memory City” books available at the gallery.

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©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Rearview Mirror,” from “My Dakota” featured in the Sept. issue of the literary/photography quarterly, Buffalo Almanack

Memory City at Robert Koch Gallery

August 31, 2015
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©Alex Webb, “Dancehall,” from “Memory City” at Robert Koch Gallery

Please join Alex and Rebecca at the Robert Koch Gallery for the artist reception and book signing of “Memory City” on Thursday, Sept. 10th, from 5:30-7:30pm.  The exhibition will be up through Nov. 14, 2015.

WORKSHOP UPDATE:  Due to a cancellation, there’s one spot left in the small, intimate workshop, The Art of Editing.  For more information, please contact Alex and Rebecca at the Webb Workshops email: webbnorriswebb@gmail.com

South_Wedge_Blue_secondhand_prom_dress_(RNW)

©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Blue Secondhand Prom Dress,” Memory City

 

 

 

TWO TALKS: Cleveland Museum of Art

July 14, 2015
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©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Badlands,” from “My Dakota” at The Cleveland Museum of Art thru midAugust

Please join Alex and Rebecca for two talks and book signings the weekend of July 17-19, 2015, at The Cleveland Museum of Art:

— Friday, July 17, 6:30 pm, “Slant Rhymes: The Photographs of Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb,” slide talk followed by a Q&A and book signing at The Cleveland Museum of Art

— Sunday, July 19, 3:30 pm, Rebecca Norris Webb artist gallery talk at the “My Dakota” exhibition at The Cleveland Museum of Art.

Link to ARTIST INTERVIEW with Alex and Rebecca on The Cleveland Museum of Art blog.

Due to a last minute cancellation, there’s one spot left in The Art of Editing Workshop, NYC, Oct. 28-Nov. 1, 2015.  For more information, please email Alex and Rebecca: webbnorriswebb@gmail.com

IN MEMORIAM: Charles Harbutt, 1935-2015

July 1, 2015
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©Estate of Charles Harbutt, “Sarah in Window,” Cushing’s Island, Maine, 1968, from his book, “Travelog,” MIT Press, 1973

“I first met Charlie Harbutt at a workshop in 1972 when I was 20. Right away I realized this man understood photography like no one I’d ever encountered. It wasn’t so much what Charlie said directly, for his comments often seemed to be cryptic asides about one element in an image, or how a given photograph reminded him of some other photograph. No, more often than not, it seemed that what Charlie didn’t say was as meaningful as anything he said. His pauses conveyed worlds. Thinking back about this contradiction, I wonder if his understated way of talking about photography was somehow echoing photography itself—for isn’t it often what’s left out of the frame that’s key to a photograph’s power and resonance? I consider Charlie’s afterword to his book Travelog to be one of the most insightful pieces of writing about the process of photography I’ve ever read.

What I find fascinating about much of his work —from the early Blind Boy series to his last book, Departures and Arrivals — is a deep, dark, metaphysical quality. His best photographs seem to suggest both the enigma of life — as well as its weight.

I will miss Charlie. I will miss his sense of irony, keen intelligence, and off beat humor. I will miss the surprise of his contrarian views as well as his generosity. My only consolation is that at least we are left with his unique and remarkable photographs.”—Alex Webb

Link to Charlie Harbutt’s last book,  Departures and Arrivals (Damiani, 2012) on Amazon.

 

My Dakota: American Photo

June 23, 2015

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©Rebecca Norris Webb,  “Cottonwoods,” from My Dakota at the Cleveland Museum of Art thru Aug. 16

Struggling with a new project, I’ve found Robert Adams’ work has been very much on my mind. So it was a nice surprise to see his work featured in AMERICAN PHOTO’S Ten Best New Exhibits of the Summer, alongside My Dakota at THE CLEVELAND MUSEUM OF ART. I love the accidental slant rhyme of these two adjacent images (his is #8, mine #9) both involving houses—his an interior, mine reflections of a row of houses at the bottom of the frame. It brings to mind this wonderful quote by one of my favorite authors, Alice Munro: “A story is not like a road to follow … it’s more like a house.”

So thanks, American Photo, for reminding me that sometimes the best way forward is to turn and take a long look back. And thanks, Lindsay Comstack, for your below insights about the My Dakota exhibition at CMA.—Rebecca Norris Webb

“In attempting to evoke the wonder, curiosity, and magic moments that unfold in life, taking shape as form, dynamic color planes, and a surreal perspective on space, Rebecca Norris Webb returned to her home state of South Dakota to produce a body of work. The resulting series is at once imaginative and nostalgic: for home, for the changing American West, for the human impact on the land, for her brother who passed away unexpectedly one year into the project. The astounding photographs appear somber and thoughtful in tone; an unexpected eulogy to the passing of time and the cycle of life.”—Lindsay Comstack, American Photo, “The Best New Photography Exhibits of Summer 2015” G

©Robert Adams, from “The Memory of Time” at the National Museum of Art in DC this summer, along with work by Harry Callahan and Ilse Bing.

 UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

——A FEW SPACE LEFT: Friday July 17-Sunday July 19: FINDING YOUR VISION @ Cleveland Museum of Art,  weekend workshop with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, discount for students and CMA members:http://www.clevelandart.org/learn/workshop/finding-your-vision-weekend-workshop-alex-webb-rebecca-norris-webb  This workshop will also include a joint talk at CMA and gallery talk by Rebecca of the “My Dakota” exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

——ONE SPOT LEFT: THE ART OF EDITING: Thursday Oct. 28-Sunday Nov. 1, 2015 Do you know how to listen to your photographs—including how they talk to one another—in order to select and sequence your work? Learn the challenging ART OF EDITING and sequencing your photographs in this five-day intensive workshop in New York City. This workshop is open to both serious amateurs as well as seasoned photographers who may be working on a long-term project or book. This intimate workshop is limited to 12 photographers.

Your workshop teachers are Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, a creative couple who often edit and sequence their work together for magazines, exhibitions, and books, including their two recent collaborative books, Memory City, and Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image. The Webbs will begin this intensive workshop by looking at a series of unedited photographs from each workshop participant, which could be from a recent trip you’ve taken or an event (such as a wedding, parade, or festival), or perhaps an assignment or long-term project. There will be two options for the second half of the workshop: participants can choose either: 1) to photograph and edit new work from Halloween weekend in NYC 2015; or, 2) to continue to edit and sequence a long-term project or book. FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING HOW TO APPLY:  webbnorriswebb@gmail.com

On Beginnings and Endings

June 15, 2015
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©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Fallen Apples,” from “My Dakota” at the Cleveland Museum of Art thru August 16, 2015

Last night, thinking about Paul Valéry and the mystery of beginnings (a new project looming) led me to revisit a particular ending before falling asleep (My Dakota’s final image: fallen apples that I unexpectedly came upon while driving across the nearly treeless prairie…).

“The opening line of a poem is like finding a fruit on the ground.. a piece of fallen fruit that you’ve never seen before. The poet’s task is to create the tree from which such a fruit would fall. ”—Paul Valéry

Sleeping fitfully, I dreamed of the largest sycamore I’ve ever seen—except in vintage photographs taken near the rural area where I was born—a tree that seemed to be a landscape in and of itself…—Rebecca Norris Webb, Sunday, June 14, 2015

Sycamore

 UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

——A FEW SPACES LEFT: Friday July 17-Sunday July 19: FINDING YOUR VISION @ Cleveland Museum of Art,  weekend workshop with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, discount for students and CMA members:http://www.clevelandart.org/learn/workshop/finding-your-vision-weekend-workshop-alex-webb-rebecca-norris-webb  This workshop will also include a joint talk at CMA and gallery talk by Rebecca of the “My Dakota” exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

——THE ART OF EDITING: Thursday Oct. 28-Sunday Nov. 1, 2015Do you know how to listen to your photographs—including how they talk to one another—in order to select and sequence your work? Learn the challenging ART OF EDITING and sequencing your photographs in this five-day intensive workshop in New York City. This workshop is open to both serious amateurs as well as seasoned photographers who may be working on a long-term project or book. This intimate workshop is limited to 12 photographers.

Your workshop teachers are Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, a creative couple who often edit and sequence their work together for magazines, exhibitions, and books, including their two recent collaborative books, Memory City, and Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image. The Webbs will begin this intensive workshop by looking at a series of unedited photographs from each workshop participant, which could be from a recent trip you’ve taken or an event (such as a wedding, parade, or festival), or perhaps an assignment or long-term project. There will be two options for the second half of the workshop: participants can choose either: 1) to photograph and edit new work from Halloween weekend in NYC 2015; or, 2) to continue to edit and sequence a long-term project or book. FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING HOW TO APPLY:  webbnorriswebb@gmail.com

$100 PRINT SALE: Alex Webb, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 1979, thru Friday, June 12

June 9, 2015

Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 1979

©Alex Webb, Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 1979

“The sad, vibrant, tragic, beguiling country of Haiti has been key to my photography. After reading Graham Greene’s The Comedians—a novel set in Haiti that both fascinated and scared me—I made my first trip to Haiti in 1975. But, photographing in black and white, I soon realized that something was missing: I wasn’t capturing a sense of the searing light, the intense color, and the heat — physical as well as perhaps metaphysical—of this country so different than the grey-brown reticence of New England where I grew up. I wasn’t dealing with the emotional intensity of my experience of this vivid and troubled land. So when I returned to Haiti four years later, I decided to work in color.

As I wandered through the porticos of downtown Port-au-Prince in 1979, I remember spotting this man with a bouquet of bulrushes — strikingly outlined against a vibrant red wall — as a second man, in shadow, rushed by. I took the photograph. I slowly began to realize it was time to leave black and white behind.”—Alex Webb, from Magnum Photos “Photographs That Changed Everything” Square Print Sale.  To purchase Alex’s “Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 1979” small print above online—and help to support Alex and Rebecca’s new joint project this summer—follow this link.

“MY DAKOTA” IN THE NEWS: Television interview with Cleveland Museum of Art Curator of Photography Barbara Tannenbaum about Rebecca’s “My Dakota” exhibition in the museum (through Aug. 16):  Link here.

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©Alex Webb, Cleveland Museum of Art. Installation of Rebecca’s My Dakota show

 UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

——A FEW SPACES LEFT: Friday July 17-Sunday July 19: FINDING YOUR VISION @ Cleveland Museum of Art,  weekend workshop with Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, discount for students and CMA members:http://www.clevelandart.org/learn/workshop/finding-your-vision-weekend-workshop-alex-webb-rebecca-norris-webb  This workshop will also include a joint talk at CMA and gallery talk by Rebecca of the “My Dakota” exhibition at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

——THE ART OF EDITING: Thursday Oct. 28-Sunday Nov. 1, 2015Do you know how to listen to your photographs—including how they talk to one another—in order to select and sequence your work? Learn the challenging ART OF EDITING and sequencing your photographs in this five-day intensive workshop in New York City. This workshop is open to both serious amateurs as well as seasoned photographers who may be working on a long-term project or book. This intimate workshop is limited to 12 photographers.

Your workshop teachers are Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, a creative couple who often edit and sequence their work together for magazines, exhibitions, and books, including their two recent collaborative books, Memory City, and Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image. The Webbs will begin this intensive workshop by looking at a series of unedited photographs from each workshop participant, which could be from a recent trip you’ve taken or an event (such as a wedding, parade, or festival), or perhaps an assignment or long-term project. There will be two options for the second half of the workshop: participants can choose either: 1) to photograph and edit new work from Halloween weekend in NYC 2015; or, 2) to continue to edit and sequence a long-term project or book. FOR MORE INFORMATION, INCLUDING HOW TO APPLY:  webbnorriswebb@gmail.com

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©Rebecca Norris Webb, “Badlands” from “My Dakota” at The Cleveland Museum of Art thru August 16, 2015


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