“I think of art as making a statement about the artist’s time and place and/or turning points in techniques and tools that give the next generation of artists a new outlook.” — Sid Webb
Sid Webb creates in a variety of mediums, and today we see some of his photographs. “I have taken nearly 100,000 photographs,” claims Webb, “and although I am tempted by beaches, mountains, sunsets, and sunrises and their breath-taking beauty as much as anyone, I rarely find lasting substance in such images. We can count the significant landscape photographers on one hand. Landscape painters fare a little better because technique and interpretation come into play.”
Webb prefers people as subjects for his camera. Here we see a young boy approaching a large 17th-century canon at Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine with appropriate trepidation, sheepishly inching his foot forward, a look eager anticipation mixed with supreme caution on his face. The shot is from a distant, raised point-of-view, and if the child had a clue he was being photographed, would he have been so expressive?
The locations here cover a range of territory, from Germany to Portugal, and Webb’s camera finds the ordinary, universal truths of people instead of the divisive artificial barriers that arise from nations and politicians. Webb sees people experiencing the wonders of the world as a respite from their normal, daily existence.
“It is my feeling that about 80 percent of creating art is the process of making it,” says Webb. “By which I mean just being focused and absorbed in the process of creation. Another 15 percent or so has to do with skill and craft, and 5 percent is drawn from our sensitivity to the world around us and how finely tuned we are to form and balance and color. Somewhere in this mix is a bit of rational thinking and reasoning that lead us in deciding subject matter and content. Generally, artists are thought of as being creative and original. And artists think of themselves in those terms, too.”
Hometown: Lexington, KY
Education: Majored in journalism and political science, University of Kentucky; Atlanta School of Art (High Museum)
Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.