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


Rudyinparis said...

Oh, I love Weegee. (With a nod to the MCAD library, which introduced him to me). The solitary man--this is the mama in me speaking--looks so much like a baby sleeping in a crib as well. The quality of his skin is almost like... almost like... marzipan!

fresca said...

Oh, yes--good call, Rudy. He is a dear little marzipan pig. I think he's lovely. (Reminds me of me...)

bink said...

All those kids crammed together, with a kitten...imagine how hot that was. I hope there was a good breeze!

Rudyinparis said...

Hmmm... I am doubtful you have the same amount of hair on your back that he does. He is sweet, regardless.

fresca said...

Bink--yes, think how hot is must have been inside that this pile-up of bodies is prefereable.

Rudy: You are right, as always. : )

This picture has so much in it.
This afternoon while I was out and about, all of a sudden I thought, wow--imagine that guy climbing out his window to get to the fire escape!