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Weegee

This man covered up with newspapers was killed in an auto accident. The driver of the car was arrested, but he put up such a terrific battle...cops had to put handcuffs on him.

1942

Image not available

Artist

Weegee (1899-1968)

Title

This man covered up with newspapers was killed in an auto accident. The driver of the car was arrested, but he put up such a terrific battle...cops had to put handcuffs on him.

Date

1942

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

Sheet: 10 × 7 15/16 in. (25.4 × 20.2 cm) Image: 9 1/2 × 7 3/8 in. (24.1 × 18.7 cm)

Credit line

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Gift of Denise Rich

Accession number

96.90.17

Object Label

While the subject of this brutally candid photograph is, in part, a corpse being shrouded in newspapers by a pair of policemen, Weegee was always equally interested in the activity on the periphery of the turmoil, as is evidenced here by his emphasis on the onlookers to the brutal scene. A few bystanders regard the body, but others do not, and one man in particular, on the far left side, seems to look directly at the photographer, implicating him in the drama. Weegee did not plan his images, but the chance details he captured often yielded an additional narrative or editorial element—for example, the ironic contrast between this calamitous scene and the surmounting marquee, which advertises a film titled Joy of Living.