WEEGEE "RENT PARTY", 1950
Although Weegee's visits to and stays in Los Angeles impacted his career, much of his most accomplished work was shot amidst downtown New York City.
In the mid ‘50s, the artist focused on the bohemian student area around Washington Square known as the Village.
In his text, The Village, Weegee recounts the growing urgency to document the quickly gentrifying downtown area. This work is a fine example of the light-hearted energy and dynamism of his post-1946 work.
The artist’s images from this series (and this era in general) are softer and more varied than the disaster images from which he built his reputation. The Village images are diverse; capturing carnivals, folk events, and young people enjoying the city.
Weegee explained this image: “On New Year’s Eve, I went to a rent party in a cheap village flat. For fifty cents you bring your own bottle, your girl, squat on a bare wood floor, and share a few unusual sights".
“Greenwich Village Rent Party” is a quintessential example of this festive mood, capturing a shirtless young man balancing a bottle of hooch on his head while streamers fall in the background. Many of Weegee's favorite themes are present here; entertainment, the follies brought on by alcohol, raucous night life, and the curiosity of children.
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“Greenwich Village Rent Party, NYC”
Gelatin silver print
USA, c. 1956
“Weegee the Famous,” stamped and annotated in pencil on verso
12”W 10”H (image)
20”W 18.5”H (framed)
Framed with museum glass
Detailed condition report by request.
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