James Welling was born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1951. He earned both a BFA and an MFA at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, where he studied with, among others, Dan Graham. He emerged in the 1970s as a post conceptual artist for whom photographic norms and the representational field itself were and remain contested and problematized. Welling lives and works in Los Angeles. During his career, Welling has experimented with different photographic mediums, including Polaroids, gelatin silver prints, photograms, and digital prints.