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Artist

William Wegman (1943-)

Title

Crow

Date

1970

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

Image: 10 3/16 × 10 1/4 in. (25.9 × 26 cm)

Edition information

11/70

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Purchase, with funds from the Mrs. Percy Uris Purchase Fund and the Photography Committee

Accession number

92.15

Object Label

At first glance, this photograph appears relatively straightforward: a stuffed parrot is positioned on a pedestal, illuminated by dramatic, ominous lighting. Upon closer inspection, though, it becomes clear that there is a sight gag occurring in the background. The shadow cast by the parrot is not the parrot’s own, but rather that of a crow. The photograph functions, on one level, as a visual joke, delivered with William Wegman’s characteristic deadpan irony. At the same time, by demonstrating how a photographic image is not necessarily a “true” transcription of reality, Crow engages in a distinctly postmodern critique of traditional assumptions about the photographic medium.