Who was Weegee?

4

Weegee made his mark as a documentary photographer. Between 1935 and 1945, he established a unique documentary style.

Weegee, [The World Goes Nuts], ca. 1943 © Weegee/International Center of Photography via ICP

Weegee’s subjects were New York and its inhabitants. Babies, animals, nightclub dancers, and criminals were all featured in front of Weegee’s camera. He spent at least twenty years documenting the city, driving around for hours, shooting stark and dramatic photographs. He captured New Yorkers whilst they lost themselves at concerts, parades, in bars and cafes in diverse parts of the city: Harlem, Chinatown, the Bowery, and Times Square.

Weegee, Couple in Voodoo Trance, ca. 1956 © Weegee/International Center of Photography via ICP

Many of Weegee’s photographs depict a struggle to survive. Addressing racial tensions, homelessness, war-time rations and Hollywood notions of glamour, Weegee revealed a roughed-up New York coming out of the 1930s Depression and into a post war society. Without sentimentalizing, Weegee turned directly to his subjects and recorded the moment.

Weegee, The Gold Painted Stripper, ca. 1950 © Weegee/International Center of Photography via ICP

Weegee’s photographs reveal a photographer able to cultivate his own style. He combined hard flash, with subjective viewpoints, often engaging with his subjects or turning away from the action to witness the viewers’ response.

Weegee, Faces in the Crowd, ca. 1951 © Weegee/International Center of Photography via ICP

Born Arthur Fellig in 1899, Weegee arrived in New York from present day Ukraine in 1910. There, he began a series of jobs, starting as a children’s photographer and later working with The New York Times and Acme Newspictures in the darkroom. In the summer of 1941, Weegee held two back-to-back exhibitions at the Photo League’s headquarters. These garnered him substantial visibility and led to the acquisition of his work by the Museum of Modern Art.

Weegee, Cinderella Ball, 1941 © Weegee/International Center of Photography via ICP

Find out more about Weegee by reading his autobiography, Weegee by Weegee (1961), or by acquiring the catalog of Unknown Weegee an exhibition held in 2006 at the ICP in New York.

via Amazon.com

More info about Weegee online can be found at International Center of Photography

written by webo29 on 2011-08-09 in #lifestyle #depression #lomography #post-war #b-w #weegee #flash #analogue-lifestyle #30s #ny #documentary #40s

4 Comments

  1. gvelasco
    gvelasco ·

    One of my favorite photographers. I love the stark grittiness of his photos.

  2. bear_feet
    bear_feet ·

    I love Weegee's style. One of my favorites.

  3. aroninvt
    aroninvt ·

    I've never heard of him sadly, but I am glad that I have now! Amazing work, capturing a world long forgotten.

  4. bsdunek
    bsdunek ·

    Thanks for bringing Weegee to everyones attention. He was a hard worker and made a great career for himself. He should be better known.

More Interesting Articles

  • The First Lomokino Feature Film: 51 Fragments of a Wandering Mind

    written by ciaravesely on 2014-04-04 in #lifestyle

    51 Fragments of a Wandering Mind is the very first feature film to be made using a Lomokino! An experimental documentary film which depicts the journey of filmmaker and street photographer Dustin Rosemark as he backpacked across Europe.

    5
  • My First Lomo Affair: Clownshoes and his Lomo Smena Symbol

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-06-05 in #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Clownshoes and his Lomo Smena Symbol

    For a short time, Blaine Vernicek, otherwise known as clownshoes in our Community, needed to be away from his beloved muse, Miss Katie, and stay in another state because of his new job. But thanks to his Lomo Smena Symbol, he was able to bring with him photographs of his sweetheart that somehow helped him forget the unnerving distance between them. Read on to find out more about this heartwarming story in this installment of My First Lomo Affair!

    7
  • LC-A 120 and I: chappelow

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-03-03 in #world #lifestyle
    LC-A 120 and I: chappelow

    For chappelow, 2015 is all about pushing the limits and improving his photographic style. To reach this resolution, he adds the LC-A 120 to his arsenal and set off on his analog adventure.

  • Shop News

    Recognizable Images of Petzval

    Recognizable Images of Petzval

    You want your subject be the center of attention? Petzval lens are recognizable for sharpness and crispness in the centre, strong color saturation, wonderful swirly bokeh effect, artful vignettes and narrow depth of field that will make your subjects stand out!

  • Petzval Artist: Unique Wedding Pictures by Photographer Maxime Desessard

    written by shibuya on 2014-06-18 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval Artist: Unique Wedding Pictures by Photographer Maxime Desessard

    Wedding season is here and the Petzval is getting ready to celebrate many happy moments. French photographer Maxime Dessesard didn't miss the opportunity to try it out at a wedding he was shooting. One might say that the real wedding was the one between Maxime's style and the Petzval's swirly bokeh. Read on to discover the wonderful and touching pictures and hear about the photographer's experience and the tips he dished out.

  • Meet Our LomoGuru: herbert-4

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-02-14 in #people #lifestyle
    Meet Our LomoGuru: herbert-4

    Herbert Morris has been taking photographs for almost 60 years. From being his family's event photographer, he now acts as one of the community's resident guides who's always willing to give advice—photography related or otherwise—to fellow lomographers. In this interview, Herbert shares tidbits about his life as a war veteran and how being a sneaky photographer preserved the memories of his aunt.

    29
  • A Salute to the Masters: The Girl with the Scarred Face (A Tribute to Juergen Teller)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-05-16 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: The Girl with the Scarred Face (A Tribute to Juergen Teller)

    This is a tribute to Juergen Teller, a great fashion photographer who continues to work with analogue cameras. In the 1990s he radically changed the way to make fashion photography. His models appear "soap and water", without heavy make-up, and his images seem taken like an amateur photographer. Between his nice works, there is a photos that I like so much, taken in Cuba and called "The Girl with the Broken Nose." Take a look after the jump!

  • Shop News

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Standard Photo Development Services

    Done shooting and want your films to be processed? We can process your colour and black & white 35mm, 120 or 110 films! Development, prints and scans are also included. (Service availability depends on your markets)

  • DrielyS shoots with the New Russar+ Lens at Coachella

    written by jillytanrad on 2014-05-02 in #people #lomoamigos
    DrielyS shoots with the New Russar+ Lens at Coachella

    Driely S is a young fashion, events and documentary photographer who based out of New York. She was given the opportunity to take photos at this year's Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, which also came as an opportunity for her to try out the New Russar+ Lens.

  • Petzval LomoAmigo: Dale McCready

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-02-18 in #people #lomoamigos
    Petzval LomoAmigo: Dale McCready

    Dale McCready is a cinematographer working in the film/ TV industry and has worked on programmes such as Doctor Who and Merlin. He was one of our supporters for the Petzval Kickstarter campaign and recently used the lens to film for a new BBC drama, which is due out in March. Dale kindly shared some of his Petzval photographs with us and talked about his love for this lens. Read on for the full interview.

  • A Salute to the Masters: A Caprice Without Tears (A Tribute to Henry Grant)

    written by sirio174 on 2014-04-07 in #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: A Caprice Without Tears  (A Tribute to Henry Grant)

    This is a tribute to Henry Grant (1907–2004), a British freelance photographer, ten years after his death. He was mostly active around London between the end of World War II and the 1970s. For a tribute to him, I chose one of his preferred subjects: the carousels at fun fairs. Take a look after the jump!

  • Shop News

    Lubitel & film bundle

    Lubitel & film bundle

    This beautiful camera features such ability to let users choose and switch between 35mm or 120 formats! Shoot more, save more! Get this Lubitel camera and get 15% discounts with Lomography Films!

  • ‘Film Without a Film’ by Julien Maire

    written by cheeo on 2014-10-31 in #lifestyle
    ‘Film Without a Film’ by Julien Maire

    So how do you exactly create a film without using film? Going digital was not an option for French artist Julien Maire as he used 3D printed miniature figurines to create his unique short flick.

    1
  • Photographer Gilbert Blecken Captures Iconic Musicians on Film

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-03-02 in #people #lifestyle
    Photographer Gilbert Blecken Captures Iconic Musicians on Film

    Back in the 1990s, Gilbert Blecken was a big music fan and wrote for his own small music fanzine. He would interview bands in between sound checks and take photographs of them. He was never a professional photographer or worked for a company; he simply did it for his fanzine. Twenty years on, Gilbert’s photographs have matured into an amazing documentation of some of the biggest music icons of that era. We caught up with Gilbert to ask him about these photographs and the fascinating story behind them.

    10
  • LomoGuru of the Week: trash-gordon-from-outerspace

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-08-17 in #lifestyle
    LomoGuru of the Week: trash-gordon-from-outerspace

    He is a graphic designer from Kassel, Germany who has been a Community member for about a decade. His ten-year stay has been remarkably fruitful. Aside from honing his photography skills, it is in this Community of ours where he met his girlfriend, made a lot of friends, and helped organize a huge weekend meet-up for fellow lomographers. Say hello to Daniel Lauterbach, also known as trash-gordon-from-outer-space, our LomoGuru of the Week!

    12