Awash with lush, rich imagery and poetic text, Rebecca Norris Webb’s book Night Calls, published by Radius Books, is a gorgeous homage to her 99-year old physician father and to Rush County, Indiana – the small, rural county where both were born and raise
In memory of a child that I never knew. This reflection is dedicated to Carol Jenkins-Davis
I find myself combatively trying to embed myself in the images, memories and families of others. My initial hesitancy in this pursuit comes from ack
The sycamores I understand, each scale of their weathered bark is fit for a peelin’ from childish hands. Perhaps here and there a jackknife scratches into the tree skin an overture of young love. A rusted nail once precariously an iron protuberance is now enveloped by the same bark and it is sinking into the torso of the green and brown sycamore. The nail’s head now reminds me of an awkward bellybutton as the skin of the tree stretches to accommodate its mass before the tree’s invisible maw can work its iron victim from sight. It is a slow process and the casual observation of the sinking nail will give little up to the viewer, but over time and over repeat returns, the nail’s “progress” can be seen as a testament to the march of all things.
Over a period of 15 years, American photographers Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb made 11 trips to Cuba, each drawn to difference elements of this multi-faceted gem. Alex Webb explored the country’s street life, capturing scenes of everyday life set in a prism of vivid colors that glow under the Caribbean sun, while Rebecca Norris Webb was drawn to the resounding presence of animal life, photographing tiny zoos, pigeon societies, and personal menageries.
In “Slant Rhymes,” Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb have a visual dialogue, sometimes ambiguous and suggestive, that spans the couple’s relationship.
The photographers Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb have produced a book, “Slant Rhymes,” that pairs images by each of them in diptychs. In an email exchange with James Estrin, they discussed the book, photography and their relationship.
“They say your first death is like your first love—and you’re never quite the same afterwards,” says Rebecca Norris Webb. The...
“They say your first death is like your first love—and you’re never quite the same afterwards,” says Rebecca Norris Webb. The artist, who has long lived in New York City, embarked in 2005 to photograph her home state of South Dakota. After one of her brothers unexpectedly died the following year, her images began to change. Tones became more muted and delicate, the palette more autumnal
Dialogues: 36 Photographs & 20 Poems is a new publication from 205-A and the first book in a series that explores the intersection between photography and poetry. The publishers, Aaron Stern and Jordan Sullivan worked in collaboration with poets Tom Sleigh and Will Schutt to bring together these unique pairings. The book features the photography of Ed van der Elsken, Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, Alain Laboile, Emma Phillips, Mark Borthwick, Brian Merriam, Coley Brown, Jordan Sullivan and Aaron Stern.
Alex Webb and his wife, Rebecca Norris Webb, went to Rochester to document the fabled, if worn, home of Kodak. They returned to explore a city with a rich history and culture.
Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, a husband and wife photography team, documented Rochester after Eastman Kodak’s bankruptcy in their new book, “Memory City,” published by Radius Books. Their conversation with James Estrin has been edited.
Rebecca Norris Webb had begun a photography project in South Dakota, the land of her youth, when her brother died unexpectedly. All of a sudden, “My Dakota” became a process of grieving, rediscovery and poetry.
It’s taken me much of life to understand and accept that my images are wiser than I am. It often takes me weeks and sometimes months to understand what they are trying to say to me.
Looking again at the work now that My Dakota is finally a book, I realize that I was photographing this particularly dark time in my life in order to try to absorb it, to distill it, and, ultimately, to let it go. Not only did my first grief change me, but making My Dakota changed me as well, both as a human being and as a bookmaker.
Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb are both photographers. They also happen to be married to one another. Alex, a member of Magnum Photos, is known for his lyrical street photography, collected in books including Istanbul, Crossings, and Amazon. Rebecca published her first photography book, The Glass Between Us: Reflections of Urban Creatures, in 2006 to wide acclaim. Just this month they released their first photo book together, Violet Isle, which explores Cuba through both their cameras, seen more clearly, in a way, from two different angles. (Not surprisingly, their joint blog is called “Two Looks.”)
[slidepress gallery=’awrnw-cuba’] Hover over the image for navigation and full screen controls Alex Webb & Rebecca Norris Webb Violet Isle play this essay Q&A with DAH &n…
(1) Both of you have heretofore been solo artists. What sacrifices did you make and/or what benefits are there to a collaboration?
AW: From my perspective, the sacrifices were not great. Early on working in Cuba, I envisioned doing my own book, but I also wanted to do something different –– something unlike any of my past books, as well as something different from any of the many past photographic books on Cuba. When Rebecca and I hit upon the notion of combining our work, this resolved these concerns of mine. I also found it very exciting to weave our two distinct bodies of work together to create a different kind of portrait of the island. In fact, I am more excited about this book than any other book of mine since Hot Light/Half-Made Worlds, my first book, which came out in 1986.
RNW: I was initially concerned that my fascination with Cuba was taking valuable time away from a project that I had always thought would be my second book, My Dakota, a project that had started out as an exploration of my relationship with the West––and specifically my home state of South Dakota––and ended up also becoming an elegy for my brother, Dave. Now, I realize that bringing out the Cuba book before My Dakota was the right decision. I needed more time and distance from my brother’s death to absorb and distill and let go of My Dakota.