Books & Art

These Prints of Street Photographs From the 1930s Will Amaze You

Another reason to check out Art Fair Philippines 2018.
IMAGE Weegee

Taking photos of everyday life in a big city is never easy. Subjects can run the gamut from needless loss of life to fleeting moments that, on the surface, seem mundane. For Arthur (Usher) Fellig, a.k.a. Weegee, the urban jungle in Manhattan, New York was his studio as a press photographer during the 1930s and 1940s. And his signature black-and-white photographs will be on display during Art Fair Philippines from March 1 to 4 at The Link in Makati City.

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Weegee in Washington Square Park

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Weegee Exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles

The exhibition prints are on loan from the International Center of Photography in New York, the world's leading institution dedicated to photography and visual culture. Included in the selection are Weegee's documentation of street crime, emergency situations, and politically fueled events that he captured with a 4x5 Speed Graphic—the most famous press camera then because of its maximum shutter speed of up to 1/1000 of a second.




Weegee started his career in photography at the age of 14, three years after his family immigrated to the U.S. from the town of Lumberg (now in Ukraine). He was mostly self-taught, learning on the road as he jumped from one photography-related job to another before landing a steady gig in 1918, when he started taking photos for a variety of newspapers. By 1935, he worked as a freelance news photographer and was even permitted to have a police radio in his car. His photographs straddle both the elements of photojournalism and fine-art photography, making his works significant in the history of contemporary art.

Art Fair Philippines 2018 is from March 1 to 4 at The Link, Parkway Drive, Ayala Center, Makati City. Tickets, priced at P350, are available through Art Fair Philippines' website.

This story originally appeared on

* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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