In Focus is Archinect's series of features dedicated to profiling the photographers who help make the work of architects look that much better. What has attracted them to architecture? How do they work? What type of equipment do they use? What do they think about seeing their work in blogs?
In this feature, we talk to California-based photographer Peter Wegner.
What is your relationship with architecture? What drew you to architecture, as a photographer?
I like the whole urban collage, the built environment. More than that, I like the unbuilt environment – the place where the architecture leaves off. Is there way to structure that nothingness in a photograph?
Describe how you work... who are your clients?
I work across a wide range of media. Most of my work is not photographic per se, and yet photography informs all of it. As an artist, my only client is myself. I'm very demanding. I keep having to get myself coffee.
Do you mostly work in a specific region? What is your travel schedule like?
I work wherever I find myself, although some cities lend themselves to this project more than others. New York and Chicago are great, San Francisco is good, Los Angeles is pointless.
What is your goal when capturing buildings in photographs?
I'm interested in a particular kind of nothingness. Paradoxically, the only way to experience that is to frame it very precisely.
What are your thoughts about including people in your photos? Is it important to photograph a building in use, or by itself?
Buildings made of sky are always in use by everyone all the time. People walk right through them. Airplanes and frisbees and birds fly through them. We breathe them.
What are your favorite pieces of equipment?
The lenses in my eyes! The world is ravishing. Even when you're focused on nothing, it's almost too much.
Do you work alone?
Can't find anyone else with my particular interest: standing in the middle of busy intersections, peering through a lens while cabbies honk and trucks try to run me down.
How do you feel about seeing your photographs on blogs and websites?
Happy. This city – these buildings – belong to everyone. The rent is free. The views are amazing.
Peter Wegner Bio
Peter Wegner is an American artist working across a wide range of media. He is a graduate of Yale University.
His work can be found be in many museums, including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York NY; The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum of Art, New York,NY; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles CA; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco,CA; The Museum der bildenden Kunste Leipzig, Leipzig DE; and The Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven,CT.
Work from the series BUILDINGS MADE OF SKY is currently on view at the John Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA, and was recently exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago IL and The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco CA.
In 2012, Wegner designed a book of this series of photographs for Nazraeli Press: PETER WEGNER: BUILDINGS MADE OF SKY.
Wegner also discussed this series, among other works, in his TEDx talk in NYC.