When I first started making photo pieces it wasn’t with the idea of a commitment to the medium. I didn’t think I would have to become a photographer to make my photographs. I recall that anything could be used as material for art in that era. Photography was just one more thing.
[Man Ray] takes a lot of pressure off me. It’s like having a third person in a conversation; one of you doesn’t have to talk all the time.
I was born on a tiny cot in southwestern Massachusetts during World War II. A sickly child, I turned to photography to overcome my loneliness and isolation.
The best thing about Fay isn’t visible in a photo. It’s her voice. You say: “Fay, speak,” and she sounds like a distant thunderstorm.
Photography as a subject is a good one. Its history is only about 150 years... You only have to know about twenty-five or thirty names and that’s it. All you need. In painting there are more than 1,000.
I was working with mud and photographs and thread, eyelashes, carrots and acetone... I was throwing radios off of buildings and ... I remember floating styrofoam commas down the Milwaukee River.
My Weimaraners are perfect fashion models. Their elegant, slinky forms are covered in gray—and gray, everyone knows, goes with anything.
In 1978 I decided not to work with Man Ray as an act of self-discipline. I didn’t want to rely on him. Man Ray hated not working, though. He would come into my studio, see me drawing or working on photographs, and just slump down at my feet with a big sigh. Fortunately for both of us the year ended. Polaroid had invented a new camera, the twenty-by-twenty-four, and I was invited to Cambridge, Mass., to experiment with it. Naturally, I took Man Ray and we were working again.
Man Ray... loved games and absolutely knew about the camera. It is interesting to note that although I used him in only about 10 percent of the photographs and videotapes, most people think of him as omnipresent in my work. It irked me sometimes to be known only as the guy with the dog, but on the other hand it was a thrill to have a famous dog.