Arthur Felling, better known as Weegee (1899-1968) is America's premiere photojournalist and one of the 20th century's most influential photographers.

Weegee became famous, beyond New York and news circles, after the publication of his photo books Naked City (1945) and Weegee's People (1946). 

Weegee's iconic images of New York City crime, disaster and tragedy are known internationally. Less well-known however, is the work he focused on during the last twenty years of his life, known as the 'distortions' period.

Weegee created distortions of a wide range of subjects; including celebrities, architecture, circus life, and nudes. "Circus Horses" is an excellent example of this era in Weegee's work.

In this evocative distortion, the photograph has been split directly down the centre and reflected. It's impossible to tell which side of the image is the original and which side is the reflection. Bodies converge while hooves extend towards the edge of the photograph. A dark and mysterious background contrasts with white manes that stream out behind the horses, a frozen and fused movement.

The Circus was a big draw for Weegee as it possessed many of his favorite motifs or themes; spectacle, performance, costume, entertainment...and the experience of witnesses something thrilling in a crowd. 

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. 

Questions about this piece? Contact us or call +1.416.704.1720

USA, circa 1948

Gelatin silver print

9.5"H 7.5"W (image visible)

Stamped verso: Photography by Weegee, from the collection of Suzanne and Hugh Johnston

Good condition

Detailed condition report by request 

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