Following a successful debut at Jealous East, ‘Earthlings’ is ready to take over the walls of Jealous North. ‘Earthlings’ explores human experience and our situation and impact on Earth, as well as looking far beyond into the awe-inspiring cosmos. On surface level, Webb’s dynamic and energetic artworks are visually intriguing due to Webb’s unique style. On a deeper level, these works challenge the viewer to consider physical issues such as our impact on the planet as well as social and gendered issues, usually with a humorous spin. Webb questions our perceptions of reality, contemplating our place, purpose and identity on Earth.
Webb draws from vintage magazines sourced in second hand bookshops, juxtaposing two or three simple images, he invents new narratives which are simple but elegant. Webb selects images from gendered vintage magazines, displaying traditionally masculine and feminine traits, which are gender charged. He juxtaposes these loaded images, making us consider gender roles in today’s society.
Webb works in the absence of computer manipulation, appreciating the limitations of collage by using found imagery and a pair of scissors, with no Photoshop options to resize, adjust colours or undo. The solo exhibition features new large scale oil paintings, which he has developed from ideas taken from the original collages, as well as rare and previously sold out screenprint editions and new original collages.
Named one of the Evening Standard’s most ‘Exciting Young British Artists to Look Out For’ in 2017, Webb has won an army of high-profile fans including Coldplay, who cited his work as inspiration for their Grammy Award-nominated Up and Up video. His work has also graced album covers by Janelle Monae, The Madden Brothers and Tears For Fears. More recently the artist collaborated with pop sensation Dua Lipa to produce a series of animated collages for her new album.
Joe Webb (1976) uses vintage magazines and printed ephemera that he has collected to create simple but elegant hand-made collages. After many years of working on computers as a graphic artist, Joe turned his back on technology and started making ‘analogue’ collages. Since then Joe has published many popular silkscreen prints, displayed his work in the Saatchi Gallery, sold work to celebrities and had his work featured on album covers. Webb's work is also an internet sensation with hundreds of thousands of people sharing his images online.
"I started making collages as a sort of luddite reaction to working on computers for years . I like the limitations of it...using found imagery and a pair of scissors, there's no googling for material and no Photoshop to resize, adjust or undo. There's an element of serendipity in finding images that work together that can't be replicated in the digital world. I wanted to get back to basics so set myself a simple rule of working from just two images, it's interesting to find what narratives appear when two conflicting ideas are juxtaposed. Some of the ideas reflect on the state of the world today, like a 1950's idea of the future that went wrong...while others are more optimistic and surreal.” - Joe Webb
“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.” - Wangechi Mutu, internationally acclaimed artist.