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 #b-w #ny #flash #30s #40s #analogue-lifestyle #weegee #lomography #documentary #post-war

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

  • LomoAmigo LomoKev Tests the New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-06-03 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    LomoAmigo LomoKev Tests the New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens

    Kevin Meredith, more popularly known as LomoKev, is a photographer based in Brighton, England who gained notoriety for his use of the Lomo LC-A and his lomographic style of creating images. Aside from a plethora of personal and commercial projects, he has also conducted workshops on photography, written and published photography-related books, and participated in a few exhibits. With his evident passion for photography, it comes as no surprise that he was selected to test a prototype of the New Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Art Lens.

    3
  • First Impressions of the Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Lens by Fashion Photographer Issa Ng

    written by Jill Tan Radovan on 2015-06-10 in #people #lifestyle #reviews
    First Impressions of the Petzval 58 Bokeh Control Lens by Fashion Photographer Issa Ng

    Issa Ng is a Hong Kong-based fashion and commercial photographer. Leveraging on many years working as an art director and stylist for several international brands in the advertising industry, he was able to develop a strong sense of style and talent for conceptual execution, composition and intense imagery. He now specializes in portraits, and is continuously on the lookout for new and exciting projects. He talks about his experience shooting with the Lomography Petzval 58 Bokeh Control lens in this interview.

    4
  • Markus Andersen Talks 'At the Edge of the Earth'

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-04-08 in #people #lifestyle #videos
    Markus Andersen Talks 'At the Edge of the Earth'

    "At the edge of the Earth" is an ongoing yearlong project by documentary photographer Markus Andersen in which he captures the coastline of Sydney, Australia on black and white film with the Diana and Lomo LC-A cameras. In this interview, the Sydney-based photographer opens up to Lomography about his latest endeavor as well as on shooting on the streets of his city and the importance of photographing in analog.

    3
  • Shop News

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    Diana Mini and Flash Petite Noire at 25% off

    At 25% off you can take dreamy 35mm images with this little black beauty. Beam coloured light into your shots with its accompanying Diana Flash Back accessory and be the analogue king of the night.

  • Newcomer of the Week: johannb

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-08-30 in #world #lifestyle
    Newcomer of the Week: johannb

    Graphic designer Johann Bottos caught the community's attention with his striking black and white landscape photographs. Previsualization is central to his photographic style. Before clicking the shutter, he tends to "wait for a particular moment or weather condition" that fits the image he has in mind. In this interview, he shares more about his passion for shooting on film as well as some of his favorite landscape images.

    2
  • 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.

  • Meet Our LomoGuru: herbert-4

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-02-14 in #people #lifestyle #videos
    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.

    31
  • Shop News

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Try the LomoLAB Development Service!

    Whatever kind of film development you're after, you'll find it here! Now you can confidently shoot from the hip without having to worry where to develop those film rolls!

  • Abstract Visions and Phantasmic Monochromes by Ian Llewelyn

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-08-28 in #people #lomoamigos
    Abstract Visions and Phantasmic Monochromes by Ian Llewelyn

    As a wildlife cameraman and photographer, Ian Llewellyn has worked on a number of television projects. The UK-based lensman breaks free from the strict confines of his profession by engaging in monochrome photography. His personal work is a plethora of abstract and experimental imagery, created in a style distinctly his own. Llewellyn is an ardent user of a Leica Monochrom camera, on which he mounted the Lomo LC-A Minitar-1 Lens, producing the most imaginative, phantasmic results.

    1
  • 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.

  • ‘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
  • Shop News

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Fisheye One Pearl Blue

    Snap dazzling 35mm fisheye shots at the push of a button with this shimmery blue lightweight beauty.

  • 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
  • Newcomer of the Week: petrischev

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-08-16 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    Newcomer of the Week: petrischev

    Belarus-based lomographer Pavel Petrischev has been taking photographs for almost 30 years. He currently works as a photography professor. In this interview, he shares his unique view on shooting with film and the strange ways of fate that brought him to the community.

    5
  • Lomo'Instant Light Painting LomoAmigo: Ian Hobson

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-08-18 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    Lomo'Instant Light Painting LomoAmigo: Ian Hobson

    Ian Hobson is a photographer based in the United Kingdom who specialises in light paintings. He recently tested the Lomo'Instant with his Pixelstick - an unbeatable light painting combo! Here are some of his amazing shots, as well as a few pointers on light painting and shooting at night.

    12