Friday, October 28, 2016

Noirsville Iconic Photographs of the Week

Weegee & Bettie Page

Artists and models, whether working in paint and canvas, clay sculptures, or photographs were the subject of a number of Film Noirs throughout the 1940s and 1950s. Scandalous liaisons, innuendos and unstable artists drove the narratives of a lot of these stories. Two icons from the period both slightly twisted in their own ways actually worked together at some point in time. These images are a record of that meeting.

Weegee was the pseudonym of Arthur (Usher) Fellig (June 12, 1899 – December 26, 1968), a photographer and photojournalist, known for his stark black and white street photography. Weegee worked in Manhattan, New York City's Lower East Side as a press photographer during the 1930s and 1940s, and he developed his signature style by following the city's emergency services and documenting their activity. After selling the film rights to Naked City, his best-selling book of gritty crime scenes and nocturnal New York street photography, he moved to Los Angeles in 1947, staying for four years. Weegee shot thousands of images during his stint on the West Coast, some of which were featured in the lesser-known book Naked Hollywood. Weegee also shot celebrities and at one point he crossed paths with Bettie Page.

Bettie Mae Page (April 22, 1923 – December 11, 2008) was an American model who gained a significant profile in the 1950s for her pin-up photos Often referred to as the "Queen of Pinups", her jet black hair, blue eyes, and trademark bangs have influenced artists for generations. She began to find work as a pin-up model, and posed for dozens of photographers and "Camera Clubs" throughout the 1950s. During one of these camera club photo shoots (which often met in various apartments around New York City.  Page was "Miss January 1955", one of the earliest Playmates of the Month for Playboy magazine.

Arthur (Usher) Fellig "Weegee"

Bettie Page at a camera club shoot

Weegee  focusing on Bettie Page's derrier at a "down on the farm" camera club shoot

Weegee shooting Bettie and the camera club members

Bettie Page and Weegee

Another camera club shoot, note the background, it's just a converted for the day makeshift studio.

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