Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Weegee: New York in black and white

Arthur Felling (1899-1968), known as Weegee, was a photographer and a photojournalist in New York. Around 1930 he was the only photojournalist with permit to listen to the police shortwave radio, which - together with his creativeness and talent - was the key to his success.

Last summer I accidentally passed by the exhibition called ‘Weegee’ when I was making my way down at ‘Esplanade de Charles de Gaulle’ in Montpellier, France. The AUER Foundation collected a lot of pictures from Weegee which were exhibited in the ‘Pavillon Populaire de la Photographie’. It took me at least half a minute per picture to realize how many elements of a story Weegee was able to capture in pictures from a distance as well as in detailed pictures. Weegee expressed colourful moments in black and white scenery and produced pictures that are telling a half an hour story in one moment. He showed the poverty on the streets as well as the richness in the hearts of the individuals.
Although New York is known as a polychrome and colourful city, Weegee was able to capture the souls of the inhabitants, the souls of the different districts, and the soul of the city in just two colours.

No comments: