For his first collection, 'Naked City', Weegee cruised the streets of 1940s New York in the wee hours in search of the sensational. Lewd, louche, licentious but always brimming with life (except when brimming with death), Weegee’s photographs have endured decades of modern art criticism and are again enjoying a much-deserved cult revival.
His profound influence on other photographers over the last half-century derives not only from his sensational subject matter and his use of the blinding, close-up flash, but also from his eagerness to photograph the city at all hours, at all levels. Snapping lovers on the beach at 3:00 in the morning, transgender prostitutes in police buggies, bejeweled Society ladies at balls, and the desperately poor, no one knew New York like Weegee.
'Naked City' showcases his talent, his love of the city, and his taste for the absurd and the unbelievable, and is a book that will forever stand as a classic introduction to the secret life of New York.