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Rhinelander Native’s Artwork to be Featured in New ArtStart Exhibit


Update: The opening of the exhibit has been pushed back one week to Thursday, November 19. 

In this day and age, almost everyone is used to seeing manipulated photos. Images that couldn’t be physically possible in Earth’s reality but come to life through an artist’s vision and skills in photoshop.

One of the things that makes Les Klug’s photos unique is they were created before photoshop, before the computer was even invented.

“He was photoshop before photoshop,” said Ainsley Klug. Ainsley is related to Les. “I believe Les would have been my cousin, once removed.”

Ainsley grew up with Klug’s artwork, but it wasn’t until she was studying for her master’s in art history that she really took a dive into what makes his work so unique.

“There are a couple of prints that I know must have taken him 24 hours in the dark room to process fully. It’s just so, so interesting to think that he had such a clear vision and dedication to the work,” said Klug.

Credit ArtStart
Print by Les Klug

Les Klug was born in Rhinelander in 1930. He spent much of his life in Wisconsin and eventually went on to teach photography at colleges in Madison and Chicago.

In some of his work, you can see the influence of growing up in the Northwoods and rural parts of Wisconsin.

“The way that he likes to use the landscape and plays with it in a way I think comes from being up there in a smaller town,” said Klug.

She and another family member helped coordinate Les Klug’s artwork for an upcoming exhibit at ArtStart in Rhinelander.

“Within the exhibition, it’s not just the photos. We’ve got some of his props and it’s simple things like paper bags and airplanes, but I think seeing those next to the photos that they’re in is a very cool moment to realize these simple means, but amazing end products,” said Klug.

The exhibit opens Thursday, November 19 at ArtStart in Rhinelander and will be there through January 18. You can schedule an appointment to see by calling 715-362-4328.

Katie Thoresen is WXPR's News Director/Vice President.
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