In many ways, Jeff Robb’s work can be seen as a 3D response to the history of the photographic nude. Perhaps the most salient aspect of Robb’s nudes is their sensuousness – the lighting both nuanced and beautiful. In velvety darkness, his nudes emerge like marble sculpture – supple, sentient flesh given the implacable hardness of stone.
And this movement is aided by fluid, yet contained, compositions: a hand holds a foot leading the eye from arm to leg; the curve of a back echoes the curve of a breast. Our eye is encouraged onward, yet it always has a place to rest. And of course, as these are holograms, the body also moves.
Robb’s series can broadly be divided into two: the full-length figures and those which are cropped. The cropped figures encourage metaphorical interpretation. You begin to see natural and organic forms – seashells and sea-smoothed stones; the curve of a pepper or a pear or a peach. Whilst in the full-length figures, the body is simplified into pattern: arms form a cross before the body; a breast is framed by torso, arm and leg.
If there is metaphorical element in the full-length figures, maybe it is because they represent psychological states of mind. The figures in repose appear to float like feathers in black space. The models seem lost in another world, mindful of nothing. However, sitting, standing or kneeling, the figures seem to be very much in this world – contemplative or concerned. Perhaps we see our moods in these models.
‘Contemplative’ and ‘concerned’ are, in fact, good descriptions of Robb’s images not just his models. Think of the work of many modern ‘masters’ of the nude, Robert Mapplethorpe, Herb Ritts or Patrick Demarchelier. In their images, there is melodrama: every muscle is fixed and flexed, sexuality is blatantly exalted. Robb’s work is quieter, more demanding, probably more beautiful – it shows that he is a heir of the great Old Masters of the nudes.
By Matthew Rake
Royal College of Art London UK
Master of Fine Art Holography with distinction 1990 – 92
Darwin Scholar at the Royal College of Art 1992 – 93
BSc(Hons) Leeds University 1984 – 87
Her Royal Highness Princess Firyal of Jordan
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK
Getty Museum, Los Angeles
SAM Museum, Osaka, Japan.
Artificium Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic.
Washington Museum of the Third Dimension, USA RECENT
COLLABORATIONS / COMMISSIONS
Eden Project/ EdenLab, Cornwall, UK 2010 – presentProducer, ‘
Diamond Queen’ HRH Queen Elizabeth II portrait, ÓChris Levine 2012Producer,
Grace Jones, portrait, ÓChris Levine 2009Producer,
‘Lightness of Being’ HRH Queen Elizabeth II portrait, ÓChris Levine 2007Producer, ‘Equanimity’ HRH Queen Elizabeth II portrait, ÓChris Levine 2005 TV DIRECTORMatt Hatter Chronicles – Multivision Director for 12 Episodes
Timeout “Jeff Robb is hot”London Evening Standard: ‘Due at an Airport near you – 3D Takes Off as Fine Art”Times Educational Supplement: ‘Holography’,The Creative Holography Index: ‘The Hidden Art’The International Catalogue for Holography, Vol. 1 No. 1, Monand Press, GermanyLondon Evening Standard ‘Digital Da Vincis’
2014 Art Taipei 2014 with Shine Artists
Art Silicone Valley 2014 with Shine Artists
KIAF 2014 with Shine Artists
Solo Show Installation Three Acts, Van Loon en Simons Holland
Solo Show ‘Capturing the Invisible’ McLaren Beverly Hills with Mauger Modern Art
2013 Solo Show London Newcastle Project Space-Three Acts of Will installation
‘Three Acts of Will’, Londonewcastle Project Space, London, (solo)‘Special Edition’,
Maria Church, Vught, Holland
(solo)‘ Tilt To and Fro’, Paul Stolper Gallery, London
‘Jeff Robb’, The Witan British Consulate/ Mauger Modern Art, Miami
2012 (solo)Scope Miami, Mauger Modern Art
‘Macroland’, Mauger Modern Art
(solo)SWAB Barcelona, Mauger Modern Art
(solo)‘Thought Experiments’, Witzenhausen Gallery, 547 West 27th St, NY
(solo)Scope New York, Witzenhausen Gallery
Art Wynwood, Miami, Witzenhausen Gallery
Raw Art Fair, Rotterdam
India Art Fair, New Delhi, Mauger Modern Art
Korea International Art Fair, Korea,
2011 Scope Basel, Mauger Modern Art, Switzerland,
Krause Gallery, Group show, New York,
Scope New York, Mauger Modern Art,
London Art Fair, Mauger Modern Art,
Art In Asia with Jiang Art Gallery, Hong Kong,
Jiang Art Gallery, Hong Kong,
(solo)Scope Miami, Mauger Modern Art,
2010 Wood for Trees, Bo Lee Gallery Bath, with Paula Rego, Gavin Turk,
Art London, Bo Lee Gallery Royal Hospital Chelsea, London,
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, London,
Royal Academy, Summer Exhibition, London,
2009 Gallery 286, London, selected group shows, 1990 – 2010