los-angeles

Weegee, The Gold Painted Stripper, ca. 1950, black-and-white photograph, 9 3/8 x 7 3/4".

Weegee

The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA)

Weegee, The Gold Painted Stripper, ca. 1950, black-and-white photograph, 9 3/8 x 7 3/4".

Chatting with Peter Sellers on the set of Dr. Strangelove in 1963, Weegee (aka Arthur Fellig) recounts his summer: “It’s been a strange one. . . . I was sent by a magazine to photograph famous photographers. . . . Of course, I included myself.” Though the conversation happened in London, it nevertheless underscores the photographer’s particular relationship to fame and therefore the premise of “Naked Hollywood: Weegee in Los Angeles,” which showcases the Eastern European–born, though quintessentially New York journalist’s stint in Tinseltown. Trading grizzly crime scenes for the soundstages and back rooms of the “dream factory,” Weegee penetrated the glossy surface of Hollywood to document the unsightly scaffolding that, between 1947 and 1951, was making it all possible, along with its lurid cast of characters: gossip columnists and topless dancers, nameless starlets and screaming

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