"Armature", 1988, Color Polaroid by William Wegman.
"Armature", 1988, Color Polaroid by William Wegman.
Courtesy of Art Knowledge News, the artist and Art Images Directory on flickr Creative Commons.

Arty Girl: William Wegman Show at SMoCA

We've all snapped photos of our beloved pets before. And with the aid of websites like icanhascheezburger.com, we get to see everyone else's mediocre kitty and doggy shots.

So how is it that when William Wegman takes photos of his Weimaraners, it's considered high art?

I say one look at any of his photos will answer that question right quick. Even just the photo above should be enough to convince anyone that Wegman's images are worthy of the "high art" title. And, lucky us, we get to take more than just one look at his photos and other art media this weekend at SMoCA's "Unexpected Wegman" show, featuring 45 pieces from the museum's permanent collection.

Wegman is a photographer at heart. He has that uncanny ability, like other famous photographers, to pull the planets into alignment and snag that perfect shot. The photos of his dogs are not only beautifully framed with stellar composition, but offer portraits that will emotionally move you...for better or worse.

And while the dog photos are what he's most famous for, SMoCA offers a peek into a wide array of subject matter that includes other animals, word play, sports, nature and his knack for creating playful narratives. Most of the works are facile prints Wegman made from 1985-2002 with the Tempe based Segura Publishing Company and it's the first museum exhibition to focus on his work in the Valley.

"Unexpected Wegman" opens Saturday, July 18th at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, 7374 East Second Street in Scottsdale, 480-874-4666, www.smoca.org.


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