William Wegman

Wegman is something of an art world anomaly. Though identified with various current directions, he remains a lively maverick, highly regarded by artists and vanguard critics. Though technology has little mystique for him, Wegman is now recognized as a master of photographic and video techniques. A long-standing collaboration with his weimaraner, Man Ray, led him, in 1979, to the 20×24 Polaroid camera in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Several times a year, he and Man Ray would commute from their home in New York City to Cambridge where Man Ray would don various guises and pose for these mammoth-sized color Polaroids. In “Brooke”, a jean-clad Man Ray gazes vapidly into the camera, as “Frogged Dog” green plastic gloves and flippers transform him into a regular toad as he squats in a paper pond of lily pad cutouts, while a twining with tinsel makes Man Ray into a golden “Airedale”.

These investigations into Man Ray’s persona are far from devoid of weightier aesthetic notion; for beneath their engaging comedic surface they deal with the transference of identity and adventures into the realm of the irrational. The upcoming exhibition will unfortunately be the last to feature Man Ray as he passed away, at age thirteen, this past April.

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