Deliberately exploiting new photographic media to reimagine what art could be, Wegman turned to video in the mid-1960s and the polaroid in the late 1970s. During the same period, he became immersed in a partnership with a Weimaraner dog named “Man Ray,” after the Dada photographer. A successor, named Fay Ray, is pictured here. Just as, with a sly sense of humor, Wegman references the legacy of Minimalism by placing Fay Ray on stacked cubes, so too his pet’s very presence eerily shifts the image into something more haunting and less easily characterized, disrupting the conventions that keep art at a safe remove from life. As he explained in 2018, “In my photographs, what I like people to see is—yes, there is a dog, and yes, it is a Weimaraner—but what has it become? The dogs are always in a state of becoming something. They become characters, objects. When they are lying down, they become landscapes.”
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