Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Sleeping on the Fire Escape (Weegee)
Top: "Heat Spell" (1938? 1941?)
Below: "Man Sleeping on a Fire Escape" (1943)
I thought of Weegee's famous photo of the children on the fire escape when I was setting up my bed outside the other night, but I'd never seen this other one of the man. I like the top photo of the children better now for having seen the one of the man below it.
What a great pair of photos--the one bursting with people, including the onlooker(s): the bar in the foreground shows us where the photographer is, and the brother looking out the window is another observer, his flashlight another tool of looking--while the man in the other appears to be hanging alone in space.
Weegee's photojournalism is unsentimental but conveys tenderness for humanity. I feel at home with his stripped down photos--they're much how I see us.
More at the Weegee Collection, at Amber Online
Also Weegee's World: Life, Death and the Human Drama at the ICP