Weegee (aka Arthur Fellig)

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Weegee
American photographer
(Zloczew, Poland, 1899 - 1968, New York City, New York)

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Bio from Getty ULAN: Arthur Fellig, known as Weegee professionally, is noted for his photographs depicting crime and other newsworthy events, usually taken at night. His early career was spent as a freelance press photographer. He prided himself on his ability to arrive at the scene of a crime before the police, and derived his name from the phonetic pronunciation of the Ouija board. He sold his images to tabloid newspapers from 1935 through the 1940s, and published his first book, Naked City in 1945, followed by Weegee's People in 1946. Naked City was a commercial success and guaranteed his income. At this point he began taking portraits of celebrities and figures in the entertainment industry. He used a variety of trick lenses to distort and manipulate these images, and often exposed or exagerrated the imperfections of his subjects. He experimented with infrared film and flash to make exposures in darkness, particularly of people in darkened movie theaters. Weegee used a 4x5 Speed Graphic press camera and flash exclusively throughout his career; and is not known for his printing virtuosity, but for the elements of social critique in his photographs. He was a flamboyant character, and revelled in his own notoreity and mythology.


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