Patrick Webb attended the “Maryland Institute/College of Art”. He went on to obtain his masters from “Yale University” (1979). A mid career artist, he could be considered a figurative narrative painter. His work situates roughly mid-way along the stylistic spectrum from representation to abstract. His paintings are very much a visual choreography in which objects and people are placed in relation to one another to create a sort of tension.
A common thread which runs throughout his work is the inclusion of a central character with an over-sized, “beak-like” nose and dunce cape; referencing the comedic Italian character Punchenello. This is a narrative device to discuss the gay experience in all it’s aspects. Working in oils his paintings range from compositions which are somber, and contemplative, tender to heroic, and even comical at times. As a narrative artist, some works are clear cut and apparent in their meaning, while at other times they appear more clouded and invite speculation. Despite any ambiguity, the artist seamlessly folds his imagery into compositions which are entertaining and visually sumptuous to the eye. His colors are muted and lines softened to heighten the “dream-like” quality to his work. Of interest, is that he choreographs his figures in enigmatic relationships without referring to live models.
In a time such as ours when artists seem content to skirt the surface of issues which effect our society (primarily because they may seem a bit uncomfortable) Webb faces them head on. His work is not only beautiful to look at, but engaging and courageous as well. The artist is the recipient of numerous awards, which include a Guggenheim fellowship. He has been reviewed in a number of publications including: “Provincetown Arts”, “Art and Understanding”, and “The New Yorker” to mention a few. His work is collected broadly, and included in the permanent collections of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum (Provincetown, MA) The Jane Voorhees Zimmerli Art Museum (New Brunswick), University of Wisconsin (Oskosh, WI), and Queensboro College Museum (Queens, NY). Today the artist lives in New York, where he is a tenured professor with Pratt Institute, and where he maintains a studio.