Alex Webb The Suffering of LightLocation: Forma Foundation for Photography, Milan (Italy) www.formafoto.it
Posted: Wednesday, June 6th, 2012
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Until 17 June 2012 Forma Foundation for Photography presents the exhibition The Suffering of Light. Photographs by Alex Webb.
This exhibit brings together thirty years of photography and journalism by a great artist who uses dense, vivid colors to tell stories about places and situations in some of the most unusual corners of the world.
Early on in his career, in the mid-seventies, Webb worked in black and white, following in the footsteps of his teachers, but he soon discovered another language which was closer to his own sensibilities. On a trip to Haiti in 1975, something changed in Webb’s way of seeing and taking pictures. Color became an essential choice in his storytelling, and since then it has driven him to go to places where light and color essential, at times ruthlessly so, to understanding and describing the territory. Although a member of Magnum Photography since 1976, Webb does not see himself as a photojournalist so much as a street photographer, which describes the empathetic approach he takes on each travel, and each job.
Haiti, the Caribbean, Mexico, Ethiopia, Costa Rica, Brazil, as well as Russia, and his native New England are among the many stops along his photographic adventures. In his pictures, light is strong, violent, and extreme, enhancing both shadow and color. Alex Webb’s photographs are complex, loaded with different elements, reflective surfaces, and apertures that generate multiple levels of interpretation.
This exhibit brings together a fascinating collection of images in color, and confirms the stature of one of the most celebrated photographers of our time.
Born in 1952 in San Francisco, California, Alex Webb was graduated from Harvard, where he concentrated in history and literature, and studied photography at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts. In 1974, at only twenty-two years old, he began his career as a professional photojournalist, and in 1976 he joined the international photographers cooperative Magnum Photography as an associate member. At this time he began publishing on major platforms including Life, Geo, Stern and National Geographic, producing extensive and accurate coverage of the American South. He has gone on to work in the Caribbean and Mexico, as well as elsewhere in Latin America and in Africa.