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Art & Life with Noah Webb

Today we’d like to introduce you to Noah Webb.

Noah, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born in Gold Beach, Oregon but grew up throughout California. As a kid in a small California town, I loved to ride my bike and make random sculptures out of dirt clods and tumbleweeds. I loved the landscape and making things out of its natural materials. I always wanted to explore as far as I could, what was at the end of the road or across the fields I also could always be found in and around water. Swimming and playing water polo in teams. Soon after deciding there wasn’t a large salary to be had as a professional water polo player, I discovered photography in college.

In 1996, I graduated with a BFA in photography from San Francisco State University. Searching to learn more I was drawn to sunny So Cal. I attended California Institute of the Arts and received my M.F.A. in photography in 2000.
I saw friends start t shoot fun projects for magazines and interesting clients and wanted to try to do the same. My first break was in 2001 with a fashion spread in Surface magazine with their annual Avant Guardian issue. I was hooked. I loved being able to translate my aesthetic and vision into a medium with a broad audience. Over the years since I have been honored and lucky to have worked with many dynamic clients and have been sent all over the globe to photograph. Traveling and exploring has always been at my core and it inspires my work to this day. There is always something new to discover and learn when you put yourself out of your normal, everyday space. That kid on the bike with the wide-open eyes is still pedaling and seeing what else is out there.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I like to make things, and I love space and context. Photography is my main medium but one will see that many of projects involve objects in landscape or place. Some are things I create such as the Nomadic reflector series and some are structures made by others who define and shape our landscape. I believe I see the world in a special way because as a kid, I had a major hearing problem and for many of my formative younger years I read lips in order to understand people. I had to visually fill in the gaps to communicate. So lines and forms in my composition are never haphazard but purposeful, a way to draw the viewers eye through my story.

I would like to elaborate on one of my recent projects Nomadic Reflector since I think it references my love of exploration, landscape and the idea of sculpture. Nomadic Reflector is an ongoing project I conceived photographing a dreamlike, reflective figure drifting through surreal but natural landscapes. Some people may see the figure like a disco ball, some like a suit of armor and others like an alien angel. I would like the viewer to make their own interpretation of what the figure is to them. When I was starting the project, I was thinking about how many people are nomadic literally or figuratively. I see this nomad not negative or positive just an individual in search of a place to call home. Trying to fit into their environment but in the end, they appear more like a spectacle. Besides the locations being surreal they are meant to feel epic and grand making the solo Nomadic Refelctor connected and yet separate at the same time. I made the suit out of over 2,500 tiny mirrors adhered to a breathable body suit. It weighs about 28 lbs. Very little photoshop is done on the images as I like to make pieces without much digital manipulation.

In your view, what is the biggest issue artists have to deal with?
I believe one of the larger challenges for artists today is financially surviving and having time to devote and create their art. My first apartment in Los Angeles was in Silverlake around the corner from Cafe Tropical, my roommate and I paid $625 a month. The cost of living in many major cities including Los Angeles has skyrocketed in the past 20 years.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
An easy place to view my personal art work and my commercial work is on my website www.noahwebb.com.
I’m represented by Redeye Represents, www.redeyereps.com

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
All images by me, Noah Webb

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