It's been an interesting year. His older half sister Flo spent the summer giving him the lay of the land in Maine. Topper came to me at 8 weeks, already knowing how to sit for pictures, so the next step was easy: To the great outdoors. It meant placing him on a tree stump in the woods or rock in the lake and stepping back to frame and shoot.
In the studio back in NYC he followed Flo's brilliant example on set and showed us photogenic potential. "Those luminous eyes!" "Riveting..." "So handsome! " the critics raved.
Unlike Flo, he couldn't care less about his reviews. He knows he's good.
Need more Topper? Here is his first year, in pictures:
Earlier this month, WW's exhibition "He took two pictures. One came out." opened at Marc Selwyn Fine Art in Los Angeles. (Read more about the exhibition here.) Read on for some of WW's thoughts on one of the works in the show, "In the dark a coat rack looks like a man."
William Wegman, In the dark a coat rack looks like a man, 1972
In this work, as with many in the new show at Marc Selwyn Fine Art, words that are set photographically as type written text act not so much as
caption, but as a key to unlock a parallel or sometimes opposing meaning.
The sentence has been deconstructed and reassembled as a set. By throwing too much light on the subject, the sentence is rendered senseless.
Fear not the dark, photographer.
During this period in Santa Monica (1971-2) my then-wife Gayle became a frequent though unenthusiastic model. I liked that lack of enthusiasm. It suited my low key, matter-of-fact lighting and set design.
Is there a work by WW you've always wondered about? Share it with us in the comments.