Weegee’s Menacing New YorkMax Lakin, Vanity Fair April 6, 2015
To live in New York is to witness a city in constant transformation: the sudden rise of glass condos sheltering phantom czarinas; crusty dive bars replaced with 24 hour ATMs; the classic red-sauce joint co-opted by a slicker version of itself, you know the story. One yearns for simpler times. Weegee reminds us that simpler is hard to come by.
As a tabloid photographer, Weegee documented a far more menacing New York. His was the Naked City (his 1945 book lent its title and aesthetic to the Jules Dassin film), an unyielding noir in which rubbed-out mobsters were left on the sidewalk next to the milk bottles, and even the Dumbo balloon in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade looked as if it were concealing a blade.
Before ‘Serial,’ A Dark Photographer Named Weegee Led An Obsession With CrimeKatherine Brooks, Huffington Post September 12, 2014
As we wait for the conclusion of Koenig’s podcast investigation, it’s impossible not to think about America’s current fascination with crime. As well as its past. We were reminded of an early 20th century icon, enraptured by the crisis and conflict of New York City’s crime scenes. Arthur Fellig, or Weegee as he’s pseudonymously known, was one of the most famous street photographers of the 1900s, who captured decades of violence with his stunning, monochromatic eye. He was obsessed with crime years and years before Koenig. And, probably, years and years before you.
Weegee: It’s A Crime To Take Photographs This Good…Eliza Williams, Creative Review November 25, 2009
Opening today at the Michael Hoppen Gallery in London is an exhibition of photographs by Weegee of New York life in the 1930s and 40s.