It is easy to be overawed by the shear technical artistry of Doug Webb's patiently wrought paintings. However, his real artistry goes beyond creating exquisitely photo-surrealistic canvases. It lies rather in using photo-realism to first lull the viewer into rapidly accepting a seemingly familiar landscape or visual icon only to be jarred upon closer examination by its pointed juxtaposition of the impossible. Webb, in short, draws us into a surreal world of the imagination where very real things are paired, but in a very unreal way.
Willfully disdainful of novelties and fads, Webb's focus has remained admirably consistent for the past 25 years; he works slowly, in the manner of the Old Masters, yet he acknowledges a kinship with the Surrealists. Using Magritte-like contrasts in scale and polarity of location or situation, Webb presents us with provocative insight on society and culture. Often his unexpected mixtures mirror the ironies, discontent, and hopefulness, we frequently find in our own daily lives.
To create these ultra-realistic works, Webb uses quite small brushes and executes six to eight layers of transparent glazes over layers of paint:
Doug Webb is a self-taught artist who has achieved making painting his sole support for the past 25 years. Born in Istanbul, Turkey he was brought to the United States at a very young age and grew up in California. Residing in Calabasas, Webb has participated in a multitude of national and international exhibitions. His works are in many private and public collections, most notably the collections of: The White House, Washington, D.C.; Price Pfister, Pacific Palisades, California; Holt, Rinehart, and Winston Publishing, Austin, Texas; Malcom Forbes, New Jersey; Michael Caine, Beverly Hills; and Hiroshi Niiyama, Osaka, Japan.