Gary Webb

Mirage of Loose Change

©Les presses du reel/Gary Webb 2007

 

This book explores the work and process of artist Gary Webb. His sculptures are playful and non-representational with high contrasts of forms, gestures, textures, and colours. Shiny Perspex in “vulgar” urban colours folded and cut into weird shapes, neon tubing piercing glass, gold chains hanging. His work has a high tech contemporary pop culture feel even though he uses traditional craft methods to manipulate these materials of mass-production. He considers himself in the middle of sculpture and painting. His sculptures are built from forms he has made or had commissioned then he injects them with various found objects. He says he does this because for the viewer the found objects seem to have more symbolism than what he has made. He talks of staying on track with what he’s making through the act of drawing. Decisions on which materials he will use in his sculptures are based on specific feelings created from the colours and shapes in his drawings or simply because they were lying around his studio. On his usage of neon it’s a medium used usually for signage to denote some kind of information. The viewer would immediately try to find a ‘reading’: like information, a name, or direction but instead it’s completely abstract. This element of frustrating the viewers’ comprehension and a sense of teasing is something he enjoys. He spoke about cultivating confidence in combining random things together. His work straddles pop cultural forms, urban excess, and fashion.  Combining these elements with organic shapes in what he calls a “kissing” relationship. He doesn’t leave a piece untitled instead uses personal information to clue the viewer in on the making process. 

Jacquelyn Hodges

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