William Wegman got his first weimaraner in 1970. He named him Man Rey. Man Rey became a central figure in Wengman’s photographs and videotapes, known in the art world, and beyond for his endearing deadpan presence. In 1972 Wegman and Man Rey moved to New York and continued their collaboration which lasted twelve years.
In 1986 a new dog, Fay Ray, came into Wengman’s life and soon thereafter another famous collaboration began. With the birth of Fay’s litter in 1989, Wegman’s cast grew to include Fay’s daughters Battina and Crooky, and her son Chundo. The newest cast member is Battina’s son Chip, a natural born star.
Wegman’s photographs, videotapes, paintings and drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries all over the world. On the following pages you will find images of the renowned photographerwith he beloved pets and some of the beautiful photographs found in Wegman’s new book, Fashion Photographs.
A little background. I didn’t always dress up the dogs. My first dog, Man Ray, was spared anthropomorphic adornments. That was left for Fay Ray, my second, a female. Perhaps it was her femininity. We came to a mutual realization that she had a desire to be observed. Anyway, I found myself looking at her for long periods of time. Then one day, after some long looking, I made her tall. I put her upon a pedestal so she would be at my eye level. Before long, I was, I was blurring the pedestal with fabric and creating the illusion of the anthropomorphic vertical. And then on and on. With the birth of Fay’s puppies in 1989 came the cast of characters I work with today. Three of her puppies – Chundo, Battina, and Crooky – grew up watching their famous mother model for my photographs, and when it came their turn they were no taken by surprise. They knew what to d.
My weimanraners are perfect fashion models. Their elegant slinky forms are covered in gray – and gray, everyone knows, goes with anything.
– William Wegman, foreword Fashion Photographs.