Image & Text assignment: Weegee


For my image and text assignment I have decided to use the shown image by Weegee titled ‘Dead on Arrival’ taken in 1941 which was found and scanned from the book ‘Weegee‘ by Kerry William Purcell and was published by Phaidon Press Limited in 2004.

Weegee (originally named Usher Fellig) got his nickname after the ouija board due to his ability to arrive at a crime scene before the police did and so his photography is mainly documentations of murder, fires and automobile accidents, although has also captured pleasurable moments of city life. Weegee uses a flash gun to illuminate his work and subjects, I would assume that most crime happened during the night and so without a flash they would be quite hard to capture (Purcell, 2004).

I have chosen Weegee’s image for my assignment as when looking at his work I thought about the detachment felt when looking at it, I especially feel that with how graphic the media has gotten it has become harder to shock and audience. I found it difficult to believe that in the image ‘Dead on Arrival’ I am actually looking at someone who has been murdered and left for dead. Within Purcell’s caption for the image she wrote about The Simple Art of Murder written by Raymond Chandler which is an essay about mystery novels and how they try and present a realistic writing of murder but it is always far from the truth. This accompanies Weegee’s work perfectly as his is an actual documentation of murder and mystery and so this will be my main text for the assignment.


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