WEEGEE "HELLO SELF", 1950
Throughout his career (Arthur Fellig) made appearances on both sides of the camera. His ambitions for fame were achieved to a certain degree, certainly as a photographer, not as much in Hollywood.
This poignant and sassy image is paradigm of one of Weegee's self-portraits. Appropriately Weegee is posed with his camera in front of a wall of movie posters.
Here, he points to the image taker, clutching his trusted Graflex Speed Graphic camera. Popularizing the Graflex model as the quintessential photojournalist’s tool, Weegee famously stated of the camera: “Don’t worry about a press card, [it] will get you through any police or fire line.”
“Hello self” is marked on the camera’s face. Held close to his body, the Graflex becomes an appendage, leaving the viewer to wonder where to locate the “self” in this image: in the camera or its wielder.
Weegee formally moved to Los Angeles in the spring of 1948 and this image is likely from that era.
Click Here to see Weegee and his camera in another classic self-portrait in the permanent collection at the MoMA (NYC).
Weegee’s photographs can be found in numerous museums and private collections worldwide: the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; The 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, among others.
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Ferrotyped silver print
USA, circa 1950
Signed and inscribed “hello self”
9"H 6.5"W (work)
16.5"H 13"W (framed)
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