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Weegee (American, 1899–1968)
LOT ID: 80320
The Human Cannonball, 1943

Silver Print, Gelatin silver print
7 х 5 in. (17.78 x 12.7 cm.)
Stamped
Lot description
Printed in the 1950's.

Weegee (American, born June 12, 1899–died December 26, 1968) was the pseudonym of Austrian-born photographer Arthur Fellig. After moving to the United States in 1910, Weegee worked as an assistant to a commercial photographer and as a darkroom technician. In 1935, he became a freelance press photographer, taking pictures at night of the underbelly of New York City: crime scenes, fires, and gawking bystanders. His tendency to be the first on the scene, even before police or other authorities, earned him his pseudonym, which he adopted from the Ouija board game. In 1945, Weegee published a collection of his photographs as his first book, called Naked City. The same year, Edward Steichen (American, 1879–1973)—who was the director of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York at the time—included Weegee's work in one of the Museum's exhibitions. The monetary success of the book enabled Weegee to travel to Hollywood, where he began shooting portraits of famous film actors and actresses. In 1953, he published Naked Hollywood, as a collection of these images. Weegee published multiple books throughout his career as a photographer, and his style and subject matter influenced later photographers, such as Diane Arbus (American, 1923-1971) . Weegee's work has been exhibited at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles, the International Center of Photography in New York, the Michael Hoppen Gallery in London, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art, among others institutions.
The Human Cannonball by Weegee
  • The Human Cannonball by Weegee
  • The Human Cannonball by Weegee
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