William Wegman Biography


William Wegman was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1943. As a young boy Wegman was always fascinated with art. One year Wegman received a Polaroid camera for his birthday and his exploration into the world of photography was off and running. Wegman attended the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. Later receiving his Masters of Fine Arts degree from University of Illinois in 1967. Wegman taught in Wisconsin before venturing out to California in 1970. Also in 1970, Wegman got his first Weimaraner. Naming him Man Ray, Wegman set about making him the main figure in his most enduring photographs and, moreover, his videos. 1970 was also the year Wegman made his first video, "Spit Screen". Appearing in such pieces of art has won Man Ray acclaim not only in the ever-critical art world, but a legion of fans in the world.

Upon Wegman's move to New York in 1972, the working relationship of the two continued over the next twelve years, even including a "Man of the Year" award from the New York City newspaper the Villiage Voice.

In 1986 Wegman began a whole new collaboration when his new dog Fay Ray arrived in his life. Upon the arrival of Fay Ray Wegman began using a Polaroid again and started photographing his Weimaraner family. Wegman's dog family has been seen in many of his works ranging form early video shorts to books to mainstream videos.

An extraordinary drawer and painter, Wegman has received numerous awards and grants from some of the most prestigious art institutions of the country. He has also had his works shown at some of the finest galleries in the world, including the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C., The Whitney Museum of Art in New York, F.R.A.C. Limousine in France, and The Museum of Natural Art in New York.

These days Wegman has seen his work shown as far off as Japan. Recently he has turned in film and video works for the cable channel Nickelodeon, as well as the television show Saturday Night Live. Wegman also has regularly created work for Sesame Street on PBS. His most recent film 1996's "The Hardly Boys in Hardly Gold" was screened for the first time at that year's Sundance Film Festival. The film starred but whom else, his favorite cast of characters including the newest addition to the family, Chip.

Wegman's most recent video, "Mother Goose" was presented in 1998. For sheer enjoyment also check out Wegman's other works including his many books published.

--Antonio Eason

William Wegman