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BOYD WEBB
Billet Doux (1997), 2000

Edition of 100
70(w) x 50(h) cm
27.56(w) x 19.69(h) inches
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BOYD WEBB
Billet Doux (1997), 2000

Edition of 100
70(w) x 50(h) cm
27.56(w) x 19.69(h) inches
ENQUIRY
Art is about speaking to each other and by making an enquiry you can have direct conversation with us about artwork you find interesting.
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Billet Doux (1997), 2000

INFORMATION
70(w) x 50(h) cm
27.56(w) x 19.69(h) inches
Show scale of piece
Cibacrome type print.

Image size: 60 x 40 cm

Signed, titled and numbered on verso.

Edition of 100
PRICE (INCL. VAT)
£ 540.00
Delivery within a few working days
Price of artwork and Shipping Fee are dependent on country of delivery. Shipping fee to United Kingdom is currently free. [change country here]
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Boyd Webb Biography

(New Zealander, b. 1947)
Artist Boyd Webb is world renowned for his photographic work, and yet he does not allow the medium of photography to take center stage. In fact, it is the stage itself that is of most importance, as Webb applies his interest in constructing complex stories, alongside the camera’s means to capture truth, to draw attention to the fine line between the real and the imagined.

Boyd Webb was born in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1947 and he studied at the Ilam School of Art, before coming to the United Kingdom to study sculpture at the Royal College of Art, London in 1972. His origins in sculpture informed much of his early practice, where he made life-size fibreglass figures, posing them in various theatrical scenes around his studio. A desire to capture these scenes meant his practice quickly turned to photography, and it is this medium that Boyd Webb is known for worldwide.

Webb’s pioneering photographic work of the 1980s set the stage for a career that now spans over 30 years. Using sculptures, live actors, and raw materials such as wallpaper or carpet, Webb staged complex pictorial installations that told fable-like stories, touching on global issues such as pollution, global-warming, and extinction. While these works have a strong emphasis on storytelling, what is unique about Webb’s work is his refusal to use trick photography or editing to disguise the true nature of the materials used to stage each scene. In this way, experiencing Webb’s work can be both absorbing and confusing as viewers shift back and forth between being lost in the fantastical stories he is telling, yet always being reminded of their fabricated nature.

The complex tableaux seen in these photographs from the 80’ies defined Webb as an artist whose work reached beyond the medium of photography, to that of installation, collage, assemblage and even performance. At this early stage of his career, his work caught the eye of national institutions such as the Tate Modern in London who started acquiring his pieces from as early as 1985. His works of this period have since steadily risen in collectability, now easily commanding auction prices of between £2,000/$2,500 to £4,000/$5,000 per editioned print. However, while his photography of the 1980s may be more widely known, it is his Botanical series created in the early 2000s that is his highest priced pieces on the market.

Webb’s work of this later period turned away from his more complex set-ups and story-lines of the 1980s, and instead moved towards simpler, more intimate photographs that resemble still lifes. In 2000, Eyestorm published three unique and exclusive editions of Webb’s work that are indicative of this later approach. ‘Dowse’, ‘Billet Doux’ and ‘Chorea’ use simpler compositional techniques such as unusual juxtaposition and scale, to highlight the material ‘truth’ of the objects Webb is photographing, whilst also suggesting other potential realities. The more intimate size of these photographs sets them apart from Webb’s dramatic large-scale prints of this period, therefore allowing new collectors to acquire a unique, more manageable example of Webb’s work, which still very much represents his stylistic direction of this period.

Boyd Webb was shortlisted for the 1988 Turner Prize, and has exhibited in such institutions as the Whitechapel Gallery, London, Centre Pompidou in Paris, and the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington D.C. His works are held in the collections of the Tate Gallery, London, and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
 
Recommended Reading
Through laborious and theatrical studio set-ups, Boyd Webb’s photographic works depict surreal scenes that portray ideas of the real and the imagined. Narrative stills of actors performing a drama in miniature, or still lifes like a true-like bouquet of plastic flowers or popcorn simply lined up looking like a puff of smoke - are all part of the artist’s endeavor to examine various themes of human exploration and the threat of science and technology. Webb’s capacity to engage the viewer and deliver his messages through deception of photography, shortlisted the artist for the Turner Prize in ’88. Three photographic print editions, Billet Doux, Chorea and Dowse, form part of the artist’s work from the late nineties.
Read more ...
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