Mr. Wild's Garden

Mr. Wild's Garden, 2010

Mr. Wild’s Garden recalls an elderly neighbor from the artist’s childhood, who isolated himself in a house swallowed up by weeds and secrecy. Weinberg’s memories of Mr. Wild, shrouded in alluring mystery, served as a catalyst for this narrative series of photographs. They are an attempt at literally picturing the world through a hidden man’s eyes.

Staged in abandoned greenhouses in Wisconsin, the thirty-one images capture elements of suspense and psychological voyeurism, granting us the unique perspective of simultaneously looking in and peering out. As the viewer traverses through the series, more questions arise than answers. Who are these figures in Mr. Wild’s world? Are they figments of his imagination? Or are they memories of family and friends? Does his dilapidated house act as a fortress that keeps out the world? Is the dying foliage a refusal to acknowledge the passage of time? Or does Mr. Wild embody self-acceptance? Is solitude his contentment? Has he come to accept the inevitability of mortality?

Mr. Wild’s Garden is divided into four chapters, each capturing elements of suspense and psychological voyeurism. These haunting photographs hover between dreamlike wonder and dark fantasy. As vines and shadowy figures creep into each frame, the viewer’s perceptions are challenged. Fact muddles into fiction as time blurs the images of our memories. Perhaps the ultimate question posed by these photographs is How can we step outside ourselves to examine the worlds of others, and thus, to grow?