Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's a Dog's Life - William Wegman

William Wegman
Reading Two Books

Black-and-white photograph,
14 1/4 x 10 1/2 in. (36.2 x 26.7 cm)
Collection Gayle Greenhill, New York

If you are unable to see the video above, please click HERE.

I've been to a number of William Wegman's exhibits. He is originally from Holyoke, Massachusetts, near where we used to live.

Wegman is best known as a photographer who has created a series of compositions involving dogs, primarily his own Weimaraners in various costumes and poses. However, his latest exhibition stretches the limits of his talent to encompass his paintings, video work and other of his artistic talents.

Please click HERE if you are unable to see the video above.

“Bill” Wegman set out to pursue a career as a painter. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from Massachusetts College of Art in 1965 and a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1967.

However, while teaching at California State University, Long Beach, he acquired the first and most famous of the dogs he photographed, a Weimaraner he named Man Ray (after the artist and photographer). Man Ray later became so popular that the Village Voice named him "Man of the Year" in 1982.

He named a subsequent dog Fay Ray (a play on the name of actress Fay Wray

Wegman's photos are well-respected in the art world, are are held in permanent collections of the Hammer Museum, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts and the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

His photos and videos have also been a popular success, and have appeared in books, advertisements, films, as well as on television programs like Sesame Street and Saturday Night Live.

In 2006, Wegman's work was featured in a retrospective at the Brooklyn Museum, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, the Norton Museum of Art, and the Addison Gallery. The Brooklyn Museum explored 40 years of Wegman’s work in all media in the 2006 retrospective William Wegman: Funney/Strange. The exhibition also ran at the Wexner Center for the Arts in 2007.

Bill Wegman's website contains more pictures of his dogs as well as merchandise for purchase. You can find it here: CLICK

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