WEEGEE "BALLERINA" PHOTOGRAPH, c. 1950
Arthur Felling, better known as Weegee (1899-1968) is America's premiere photojournalist and one of the last century's most influential photographers.
He would become famous, beyond New York and news circles, after the publication of his photo books Naked City (1945) and Weegee's People (1946).
Weegee's images of New York City crime, disaster, and tragedy are frequently iconic and highly influential. Less well-known, however, is the work he focused on during the last twenty years of his life: known as the 'distortions' period.
In the late 1940s, Weegee began experimenting with photographic manipulation both in the darkroom and using an array of filters, many of which were his own invention, on his camera.
Weegee created distortions of a wide range of subjects; celebrities, architecture, circus life, and nudes. Of course, one of the overarching themes of his work was the idea of spectacle.
The striking image features an elegant ballerina, poised en pointe, with her arms delicately arched above her head as she looks forward with a confident gaze. The photograph captures a fleeting moment, while its subtle distortions elongate the ballerina's lithe figure, emphasizing the grace of her technique.
Weegee’s photography can be found in scores of museums and private collections worldwide: the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art, New York; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Museum of Modern Art, Oxford; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; International Center of Photography, New York and more.
USA, c. 1950
Gelatin silver print
9"H 6.5"W (work)
20.25"H 16.25"W (framed)
Very good condition
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