Wegner is referring to a city made of sky. In the space between the iconic buildings we pass everyday is another type of structure, one that’s totally made of blue and clouds. In his Buildings Made of Sky series, Wegner transforms a city’s negative space into ephemeral structures that look like inverted skyscrapers…
Looking at one of Wegner’s photographs is like looking at a mirage; you’re not sure if what you’re seeing actually exists. In fact, even he wasn’t sure of what he was seeing when he first began noticing inverted buildings suspended between steel and glass. “It was a serial epiphany,” he recalls. “I kept seeing it, but I almost didn’t register what I was looking at.”
To get his shots, Wegner stands in the middle of the street, focuses on the infinity and snaps the picture. “I just look all the way to the horizon, and the streets have conveniently arranged themselves to give you this image,” he says. “People will sometimes stop me and ask what I’m taking a picture of, and I tell them, ‘nothing.’” It takes little doctoring to get the desired effect: “It’s just a matter of flipping the image upside down,” he explains.
Of course, you can’t just stroll around Manhattan or any other big city and assume you’ll bump into a photo-worthy building made of sky. There are factors to be considered, like time of day (he likes early morning and evening because of the glow) location (Midtown’s gridded streets are optimal) and weather (blue skies are better than grey). Still, Wegner says, there’s an element of exploration that is central to his process. “I wander around in fugue state and hope I don’t get hit by a truck,” he says. “I’ve had more conversations with irate cabbies than you can imagine.”
Interesting flip of the script. He manages to take spaces that are not always revered – think of the references to the concrete canyons of New York City – and notes something worthwhile. Plus, this might get people to think about spaces between buildings differently. While some of this happens when people in current buildings complain about new buildings blocking their sunlight or views, large buildings are partly what they are because of their surroundings.