wegman and the damned dogs


On weekends, William Wegman’s “Funney/Strange” at the Brooklyn Museum becomes a playground for parents and children, most of whom have a grand time laughing at the posed pooches. No other artist today can pull that kind of crowd. (Calder came close, but usually just for his child-friendly “Calder’s Circus.”) As the art world knows, Wegman has created a significant body of work apart from his portraits of Weimaraners, notably paintings and human-only videos. But his dogs inevitably steal the show. The question that beguiles me is why they engender more than a passing smile. What makes them more than doggy kitsch? Something more than a jokey greeting card?

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