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William Wegman Polaroids Paperback – September 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Abrams (September 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0810992426
  • ISBN-13: 978-0810992429
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,745,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Although Wegman's artistic output includes photography and video work that doesn't feature canines, by the mid-Seventies, he wryly notes, I had become the guy with the dog. The dog was Man Ray, a weimaraner with a movie star's instinct for the spotlight. Using a 1978 20x24 Polaroid camera, Wegman captured his beloved dog on film; for more than 20 years now, Wegman has continued to experiment with the camera, immortalizing his next weimaraner, Fay Ray, and a long line of her progeny. Though the collection contains a few portraits of people, next to the expressive and enigmatic canine tableaux, Wegman's human compositions are pale and unengaging-less human, in fact, than the dog photographs. In Rouge (1982), one of the last portraits of Man Ray, the ailing dog's eyes shine with wisdom and melancholy. In contrast, 1982's Eau II, a portrait of a glammed-up woman with a bloody nose and a Chanel bottle, seems cold and dated (or in the vein of a knock-off Cindy Sherman). It is when Wegman, refraining from indulging his latter-day fascination with prop and costume anthropomorphism, focuses on the dogs themselves-whether on their musculature, their sleek taupe coats or the graceful incline of their brows-that his photographs take on a life of their own and become truly beautiful.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.--

From Library Journal

There's no shortage of opportunities to see photographer Wegman's work, with numerous books currently in print, together with a minor industry producing notecards, calendars, and T-shirts; his dog photographs may be some of the best-known images of any contemporary artist. This title showcases Wegman's efforts with the Polaroid 20 24 camera, although it is an open question as to whether the book's concept merits the publication of yet another Wegman title. Still, it is beautifully produced, with many color illustrations (almost all of his pet Weimaraners), foldouts, and a lively, easygoing text by Wegman, who studied art in the early 1970s when Conceptualism was at its most robust. His style developed out of the philosophical, questing strategies employed by Conceptual artists, and, while one can find echoes of those strategies here, absent is the searching, intellectual honesty that characterizes the best Conceptual art. Wegman's work is undeniably charming, often amusing, and occasionally quite moving. Given the exposure he has, however, libraries with limited budgets might consider purchasing books about lesser-known contemporary artists influenced by Conceptualism or one of several titles currently in print discussing the achievements of Conceptual art. For collections already possessing large holdings in art and photography.
Michael Dashkin, PricewaterhouseCoopers, New York
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Marlo Kovach on September 17, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Yes Wegman has many books about his dogs but this one is unlike most others, the 20X24 camera and what it can achieve is amazing. Wegman uses this camera to its fullest capturing his dogs in many amazing lights. A Wegman book all should own.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Nornberg on November 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you have a Weim or just fancy their adorable face you have to get a copy of the book. The photos are wonderful. Great coffee table piece.
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By Amazon Customer on May 18, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my opinion this is exceptional photography book. Fay Ray is the best model ever;-)
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3 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Jon Mizale on May 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
We are living in an age of sequels. From Star Wars and Matrix of Hollywood to the Gulf Wars, it is repetitions with the same premises and towards, dull or worst, tragic effect. Wegman's early work with his dog Man Ray captured everyone's imagination with its wit and sometimes thought provoking concepts. Wegman like his dogs also became a star, subject of documentaries and an advertising model for Gap clothing. Alas, there was no one to tell this talented artist when to stop, and from doing the children's fables to an episode of Hardy Boys adventure, Wegman's canine companions have found more newer uses including featuring as various alphabets in books for nursery children as well as in between graduate courses offerings in a New School for Social Research catalog.
Like Sylvester Stallone's Rocky that raided the Oscars cupboard in the 1970s, only to milk the concept dry (Mr. Stallone is reportedly scripting another edition), Mr. Wegman has chosen to risk doing the same with his canine models. His latest offering is getting into another commercial territory besides that of prequels and sequels -- the "Making of ___" (for a hit movie) or the "outtakes" or "Alternative Takes" (for a well known but dead musician). Whether Wegman is the Hendrix of Photography or revisiting Man Ray's polaroids is like "the Making of Citizen Kane" is something debatable. What is however more certain is that despite the high levels of literacy that permeates photographic art and the fact that photography doesn't have to pander to the lowest common denominator like most other art forms, it cannot escape the trends in the market place. Trends driven, not by artists but accountants and following the cold logic of prequels, sequels, outtakes and alternative tracks. Whether Wegman will soon be getting his canine models to reinterpret the boy scouts manual or move from the Hardy Boys to Nancy Drew adventures, is there to see. But if this does happen, remember you read it here first.
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