William Wegman was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, in 1943. He graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art in 1965 with a BFA in painting, then enrolled in the graduate painting and printmaking program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, receiving an MFA in 1967. After teaching at various universities, Wegman’s interests in areas beyond painting led him to photography and the then-infant medium of video. While living in Long Beach, California, Wegman acquired Man Ray, the dog with whom he began a fruitful twelve-year collaboration.
A central figure in Wegman’s photography and videos, Man Ray became known in the art world and beyond for his endearing, deadpan presence. In 1972, Wegman and Man Ray moved to New York. In 1986, a new dog, Fay Ray, came into Wegman’s life; and soon thereafter another famous collaboration began, marked by Wegman’s use of the Polaroid 20-by-24-inch camera. With the birth of Fay’s litter in 1989 and her daughter’s litter in 1995, Wegman’s cast of characters grew.
His photographs, videos, paintings, and drawings have been exhibited in museums and galleries throughout Europe, Asia, and the United States, including Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Orange County Museum of Art in California. Wegman lives in New York and Maine.