A short analysis of an artwork titled "Caffe Bella Napoli."

Essay by drowningsenaCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2003

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Weegee's photograph of Mulberry Street Café is segmented by elemental categories. There is the sign that takes up almost half of the photograph, and below it is the cafe. There are two conversations going on; participants of both conversations are oblivious to the other conversation and the little girl whose speculating. The man passing by is alone and ignores everyone, as he passes by with his head facing directly forward. The gathering inside the café dominates the photo's composition: the group is composed of the most number of people and is in the center of the happening. The little girl is at the margin of the photograph; she is there but not really there to those pictured. She exerts such a strong presence because she is the only female and the child in the picture. Also, the viewer is to empathize with her position, as she is the only one not oblivious to the others in the photograph; she's the lone spectator.

This arrangement contributes to the symbolic meaning behind the photograph. There are sects in our society, such as the one represented by the Italian community in the photograph. Even among the sects, we find ways to exclude others. The in-crowd will look out toward the direction of the other people but in their indifference, not find anything there. I think the people gathered at Caffe Bella Napoli seem to be unaware of the photographer, because maybe the photographer took the picture before the people could take notice of the photographer or the people photographed and the photographer collaborated to present a natural looking photograph. The story behind the photograph "Dancing": Lisa is about to graduate from grammar school and attending her graduation dance. There was however,