Jeffery Robb

Naked Singularity

Crossing the Border

Between sculpture and print, there is something disarmingly beautiful and mysterious about Jeffrey Robb's striking collection. Tantalising and mesmeric, the nude figures seem to hover in space, then as the viewer moves so do the figures, with the smooth sculpture-like feel changing into a fluid, breathing composition in an alluring three dimensional world. Robb explains:

"The images are like portals into another world whilst also acting as mirrors. They are very reflective of people's moods and emotions."

Each artwork is presented as a series of images made using a hologram-like process known as lenticular photography. With this process many images are captured on specially designed equipment allowing the sculptural body forms to be photographed from different angles.

Robb explains:"I take many hundreds of photos of each subject, after which comes a long filtering process and working through different sets of ideas.

The final piece is looking at hundreds of images simultaneously, creating a 3D effect in a 2D space. It's like making a mini movie rather than capturing a single moment."

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Jeffery Robb

Jeffery Robb

Jeffrey Robb comes from a notably niche educational background having studied botany at Leeds University, he also holds a M.A with distinction in holography from the Royal College of Arts and has been awarded a Darwin Scholar. Born in Derbyshire Jeffrey now resides and works in London.

Known for his spectacular 3D photography of The Queen and Grace Jones, Jeffrey lists a prestigious array of exhibitions and collections across the world as well as commissions for Harrods, BMW and Thomas Cook. Jeffrey’s work has also gained much media coverage and is currently the artist of residence for the Eden Project in Cornwall. Further to Jeffrey’s impressive portfolio he has also just been offered a Fellowship of The Royal Photographic Society for his collection ‘Naked Singularity’.

In many ways, Jeffrey’s work can be seen as a holographic response to the history of the photographic nude. American photographers Edward Weston and Alfred Stieglitz sought formal perfection in the nude, European-based photographers Bill Brandt and Man Ray sought innovative abstract designs. Jeffrey’s work borrows from both traditions - but it is uniquely his own.

Jeffrey’s unique holographic lenticulars focus around the human form, illustrating tones and shadows of the body against the rich dark background – the eye encouraged to move across the image to observe not only the transitions of tone but also the three dimensional form of each model revealing itself gradually, sensuously. Naked forms flicker in and out of a virtual space as the viewer’s position shifts in front of a series of black panels. These images open up a new and original approach to imaging the nude figure.

The figures in repose appear to float like feathers in black space. The models seeming lost in their own world, mindful of nothing. Sitting, standing or kneeling, however, the figures seem to be very much in this world – contemplative or concerned. Jeffrey’s work shows intricate detail in a unique exquisite abstract design – the taut skin over bone juxtaposed against folds of flesh; the smoothness of skin against the texture of hair; a hard, tense, weight-bearing limb against one that bends, leaf-like, towards the ground.

‘Contemplative’ and ‘concerned’ are, in fact, good descriptions of Jeffrey’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. Jeffrey’s work is quieter, more demanding, probably more beautiful – it shows he is an heir to older, great masters of the nude.