Biography

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Alex Webb is best known for his complex and vibrant color photographs of serendipitous or enigmatic moments, often in places with socio-political tensions. Over the past 45 years, Webb has worked in places as varied as the U.S.-Mexico border, Haiti, Istanbul, and, most recently, a number of U.S. cities. “My work is questioning and exploratory,” he says. “I believe in photographs that convey a certain level of ambiguity, that ask questions rather than provide answers.”

In 1974, the 22-year-old Webb, a Magnum Photos nominee, began working as a professional photojournalist, going on to work for the New York Times Magazine, Geo, Life, National Geographic, among other magazines. Alex became a full member of Magnum Photos in 1979.

Working mostly in Latin America and the Caribbean, he credits those cultures with inspiring his interest in color, when he transitioned from black-and-white photography in 1979. Webb has published 16 photography books, including The Suffering of Light, a survey of 30 years of his color photographs, and Memory City (with poet and photographer Rebecca Norris Webb, his wife and creative partner), a meditation about film, time, and the city of Rochester, NY, itself, the long-time home of Kodak, in the year following the company’s bankruptcy. His most recent books include La Calle: Photographs from Mexico and the collaboration Slant Rhymes with Rebecca. In fall 2019, Aperture will publish his seventeenth book—and fifth collaboration with Rebecca—Brooklyn: The City Within.

He has received numerous awards and grants including a Hasselblad Foundation Grant in 1998, a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2007, a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1990, and the Leica Medal of Excellence in 2000.

Selected Assignments

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