Born in 1951 in Hartford, Connecticut, James Welling studied at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh before receiving his BFA and MFA from the California Institute of the Arts.
Since the 1970s, Welling has become known for a relentlessly evolving body of images that considers both the history and technical specificities of photography. Emerging at a time when the medium focused on its capacity for mimesis, Welling’s work signaled a break with traditional ideas of photography by shifting attention to the construction of images themselves.
« A photograph records both the thing in front of the camera and the conditions of its making… A photograph is also a document of the state of mind of the photographer. And if you were to extend the idea of the set-up photograph beyond just physically setting up the picture, I would argue that the photographer wills the picture into being. »