Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Weegee, Naked City @ Steven Kasher Gallery

Whether you think of Weegee as an artist or not, it can be easy sometimes to forgot how many good pictures he has made. The show is a great display of his skill, an overwhelming salon hanging which is probably the best way to experience Weegee, since his more prosaic shots only serve to establish a mood of the noir world of his photographs.  This mood is partially a result of his employment as a crime photographer for the New York tabloids and partially his skilled craftsmanship that turns what could easily have been evidential moments into small cinematic triumphs.  But even if you were to chalk his work up entirely to being the result of his occupation, it is hard to believe that it wasn’t a job that fit his personality. An underling gallows humor infuses so much of his work, that in the masculine world of first responders to a crime scene, I imagine he would have been an enjoyable person to share a smoke with. Its also nice to see Kasher putting on a quality show of work that so emphatically embodies their mission statement, that is, to show work that occupies the boarder between art and vehicular images. It is also one of the first shows since they moved to the ground floor that isn’t made up of highly commercial National Geographic pictures.

Through Feb. 5th


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