Weegee  

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"For Weegee and Brassai alike, the only refuge from the night, the only sanctuary, was in the bars and cafes. Weegee's Montmartre was the Bowery." --"Night Light: Brassai and Weegee" (1976) by Colin Westerbeck

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Weegee was the pseudonym of Arthur Fellig (June 12, 1899 – December 26, 1968), a American photographer and photojournalist, known for his stark black and white street photography. Weegee worked in the Lower East Side of New York City as a press photographer during the 1930s and '40s, and he developed his signature style by following the city's emergency services and documenting their activity. Much of his work depicted unflinchingly realistic scenes of urban life, crime, injury and death.

Weegee's photos of crime scenes, car-wreck victims in pools of their own blood, overcrowded urban beaches and various grotesques are still shocking, though some, like the juxtaposition of society grandes dames[1] in ermines and tiaras and a glowering street woman at the Metropolitan Opera (The Critic, 1943), turned out to have been staged.

His best-known work is Naked City (1945), his first book of photographs.

Weegee can be seen as the American counterpart to Brassaï, whose Paris by Night (1933) also photographed Paris street scenes at night. Weegee's themes of nudists, circus performers, freaks and street people were later taken up and developed by Diane Arbus in the early 1960s.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Weegee" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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