"I started making these simple hand-made collages as a sort of luddite reaction to working on computers for many years. I like the limitations of collage...using found imagery and a pair of scissors, there are no Photoshop options to resize, adjust colours or undo.” – Joe Webb
Joe Webb’s collage works are comical yet cynical, charmed with a melancholic romance and warm nostalgia. The artist collects vintage magazines and printed ephemera, cutting elements out by hand to create compositions that initiate an entirely new visual dialogue and communicate a new message or idea. Using just two or three found images in each artwork, Webb’s pieces are often political statements, worldly observations, and metaphysical conversations about alternative realities, time, and the transient nature of our existence within the Milky Way. Inspired by the likes of Blake, Magritte, and Rauschenberg, the artist stays true to the physicality of collage by finishing his silkscreen prints with embossing, glazing, diamond dust or silver leaf, all quietly complimenting his hand-made philosophy.
The internationally acclaimed African contemporary artist Wangechi Mutu said of Webb’s work: “Joe navigates a rich landscape with grace and humour. He plays visual elements against each other in a way that puts different eras in dialogue, allowing characters to travel from their 50’s Home Gardening Magazine roots to the far cosmos. He flirts with themes of nostalgia and loss but ultimately composes light-hearted images that are in dialogue with today’s sampling culture, collapsing and hacking together sources from across the universe in fun and rudely jacked up colour schemes.”