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Alright, this is for all you lame fucks sitting around watching Jerry Springer, scratching your nuts and whining about how there's nothing to fucking do. It just so happens that the world famous Spider Webb has been sitting at his desk 18 hours a day for about a year now. What has he been working on, you ask? How about a 300-piece collection of tattoo drawings, pantings, and sculpture. That do anything for ya? It seems the native New York ink-master was hit just as hard with the September 11th attacks as the rest of us. The atrocity dug deep into the veteran's feelings about his country, his pride, and his brothers and sisters that fell that day—it made him angry and he set to work doing what he does best.
A tasty sampling of the entire collection (roughly half) is on display this month at the Clayton Patterson Gallery and Outlaw Museum and shows Spider working through the wide range of emotions all of us have endured over the past year. This collection has definite elements od the old WWII posters that once called so many in this country to duty and sacrifice, but the work also pulls together the deeper ideas and feelings of what one day in America has brought to our tables. This isn't your typical tattoo art, this is a master pouring his heart and soul into highly detailed and stylized work. The vast array of drawings hung throughout the gallery greet the viewer with images of Lady Liberty in abundance in all her poses and outfits sheltering and mourning the loss of our neighbors and heroes. But Spider also gives attention to the feelings of hatred and vengeance, loss and grief in a way that only he could with mottos that ring truth like: 'Osama Wanted Dead' and 'Kill the Bastards!' It's a sure bet you won't soon forget the work that Webb has on display, but it's a better bet that you will leave understanding that we have all been through a great deal and that together as New Yorkers we have weathered it—as one piece states across the top, 'Grieving together, Standing together.'
But enough about the drawings for now; let me tell you about what else old Spidey has to offer on display. It seems that tattoo and ink aren't the only thing the legend can craft. Along with the hundred or so drawings are a number of paintings, all in oil, which show the city gripped in crisis with explosive colors and the remnants of a WTC scattered across the canvas. The series is vivid in reds and oranges and power-packed with the rage in broad brush strokes. The night of the opening though, it was the sculpture which seemed to take center stage. There are only seven or eight pieces scattered around the gallery, but those that Webb chose are both visually powerful and startlingly moving. My favorite, and that of a good many others, was a piece he referred to as "The weapon of mass destruction & New York style." I would attempt to describe the thing, but I would rather you got up off your ass and laid your own eyes on it. Trust me, it's worth it and you'll be glad you did.
The opening on September 5th, Spider's first ever, was more an intimate get together of friends than anything approaching your typical "art" opening. The room was cozy with tattoo enthusiasts whose flesh had been inked by Webb as well as a few Hells Angels and a good number of other artists and friends who have forged their trades since the seventies and eighties right alongside Spider. I got a chance to spend a few minutes with the artist, replete in a FDNY T-shirt and Screwed baseball cap, and found him to be laid back and happy to be among friends sharing his work. He didn't have a great deal to say about the work or the time he has put into the collection, but perhaps his press release says it best.
"This is a veteran's feelings about dealing with the enemy and appreciating our uniformed heroes and the bravery and toughness of New Yorkers."
Like the Spider Webb of the past who has always pushed the limits as a provocateur, this collection pulls no punches. The drawings seemingly reach into your gut and grip the subject whether it's grief, honor, pride or revenge. You feel it in the way he puts the things together and it's truly nice to see something as different and refreshing as Webb at his best. Remember, this is art but art with a far different flavor than the word alone can invoke. He truly is one of us, a fellow New Yorker who was here when it happened, and is now ready to celebrate his hometown strength, dignity, and honor at the time of war.
Oh. by the way, should you fall in love with one of the tattoo drawings in the gallery, all are available to be purchased as tattoos by Spider Webb Studios at the Clayton Patterson Gallery. (Think holidays!) All of the proceeds of the art sales go to create the Father Mike Memorial: an eighteen and a half-foot, threedimensional creation of the Father Mike artwork cast in bronze. Sounds like the perfect gift with the holidays creeping around the corner.
So, now you have something to do besides jack-off. Get up and go see Webb's collection. The gallery is free and sits at 161 Essex between Houston and Stanton. Webb's show will be up until everyone has seen it, so tuck your equipment, zip-up and go.
Spider's words to the readers of Screw? "Nurses ain't nothing but tits and ass, and I want a syringe full of Morphine!"
At the last Meadowlands show, we got Spider Webb in the house! As a tattooer and an artist, this guy has been in the business for many, many years, and is the real deal. His pieces in the art gallery which center around 911 and the World Trade Center tragedy are very moving, especially hearing the story of each one. With so many stories to tell, we were glad we had the chance meet him and have him share a few. We look forward to talking with him again real soon.... [ read more ]
Alright, this is for all you lame fucks sitting around watching Jerry Springer, scratching your nuts and whining about how there''s nothing to fucking do. It just so happens that the world famous Spider Webb has been sitting at his desk 18 hours a day for about a year now.... [ read more ]
Juxtapoz no. 42
Spider Webb's artwork lasts as long as the flesh it adorns remains intact. At the moment, thousands of people are roaming the earth sporting Webb's tattoos. His paintings, sculptures, and photographs have also made numerous public appearances. But the greatest creative impetus thus far for Webb stems from September 11, when the attacks so horrified him that he practically swore off sleep to exorcise all his demons on paper, which now appear in his drawings for his solo show at New York's Clayton's Outlaw Art Gallery... [ read more ]
Skin Art #89
The outpouring of poetry, photographs, film, writing, and painting resulting from the attacks of 9-11 is one of the largest artistic records of an historic event ever. Perhaps only the Holocaust has provoked a greater creative response. The need to express the gamut of emotions people felt on that day was, and is, overwhelming. For New York tattooist/artist Spider Webb, drawing obsessively over the months that followed last year''s destruction was his outlet.... [ read more ]
Needles, Ink. chronicle 5 vol 1
SPIDER WEBB weaves a legacy of classic and modern flash embracing tradition and revolution. He renders visions of chaos and charity via a living art form exhumed by outlaws; everybody shout out to this original motherfucker! He wrote and put out many books on tattooing history, produced many tattoo machines, laid ink into stars & harlots, cavorted with Hollywood's trashy elite, and lived the life of a renegade tattooing in NYC when it was forbidden; he's a flesh-wrenching visionary with incredible skillz and a fuck you attitude. Don't be fooled by his sorta sensitive composure; he really is a mean fuck deep down, but he plays the cool card here for NEEDLES, INK. cause he loves you, his fans and potential customers.
His work bridges two worlds: one past tense and nearly forgotten, filled with thickly-adorned sailors, unrepentant prisoners, and crazy gangsters... [ read more ]
Email Spider at spider@spiderwebbUSA.com
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Charlotte, NC 28212 USA
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