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Wiliam Wegman

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From: Patricia Knott (pknott_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Jul 23 2003 - 13:59:41 PDT


There are a few things going through this list that I want to make comments
on. (00Ps ended with a preposition!)

Wegman is a serious artist. He loves his dogs, he has used his dogs, and he
has made A LOT of money from his dogs. But there is something to his photos
beyond the immediate appeal.
(BTW if you research the history of Man Ray and Fay Ray you will cry)
Wegman challenges the interpreting of art. His work is assessable and maybe
has become too commercial but his work appears in major museums. Sometimes
his work is "cute." But does that mean that it does not need interpretation?
Wegman is an artist - he paints, draws, photographs, and makes videos. He
was a conceptual artist in the 70's; he made "fun'"of the art of the time.
Wegman was always serious about critiquing the conventions of serious art.
He redirects the viewer as to the 'seriousness' of art history. He parodies
fashion photography, he questions mastery (who is in control, dog or man?),
he questions the traditions of animal art, he plays off advertising
photography, he deals with the mechanisms by which power manipulates us, and
many of his photos make reference to art history. I think he is always
asking "who is in control?"
Wegman's work is appreciated by kids watching Sesame Street as well as
critics who read much deeper reading.
Wegan's site is down now as someone mentioned. But you can learn more at
http://www.pbs.org/art21/artists/wegman/
Try to find "Lolita" and tell me it is not the most seductive, sensual
thing and tell me it doesn't make you think about what is seductive
and then tell me a photo of a dog can't make you think.

My high school kids will watch and watch the Sesame Street videos. They are
enthralled. And when I explain Wegman's intentions, they are more curious.
The curiosity is what makes the artist. Wegman is an artist and does it
well. He makes statements on society and most don't even know it. It's not
so cute, it's very pointed.

hate thinking putting Wegman in the same subject line with Kincade ( and I
don't care if if know how to spell Kincade)

Patty

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