Leica Camera will honor Bruce Davidson with the Leica Hall of Fame Award 2018 on June 15th. First given in 2011, this award highlights exceptional photographers for their contributions to the world of photography. Bruce Davidson’s photography has been fea
The International Center of Photography (ICP) will award Magnum photographer Bruce Davidson its Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s Infinity Awards on April 9. ICP announced the winners of all the 2018 Infinity Awards yesterday. Dayanita Singh’s mul
Published for the first time in its entirety in 2005, this new edition has a larger ideal format chosen by Davidson initially for his book Black & White (2012), and now the standard size for his future publications with Steidl
Bruce Davidson, the iconic photographer known for his pictures of the New York City subway, The Dwarf, East 100th Street, and the Brooklyn Gang, also photographed the street gang called the Jokers, of which Bengie was the leader. Nearly forty years later, Bob Powers got in touch with the Davidsons.
Emily Haas Davidson, Bruce’s wife, has spent over ten years talking to Bobby, and, in “Bobby’s Book,” they recount his tumultuous young years of violence, drug addiction, crime, love, and loss.
His modern vision of documentary influenced generations of photographers. The American Bruce Davidson, now 79, a Magnum member since 1958, will have a retrospective at the Robert Klein Gallery in Boston until March 30
Well, there are two things I’ve never done: I’ve never been under fire in a war and I never learned how to open my eyes underwater. For example, I had a fashion assignment on the beaches of Miami, but there were Portuguese Man O’ War jellyfish so we couldn’t jump into the surf as planned. So the art director said to me, “Bruce, let’s rent a motel pool,” and I said, “That’s a great idea!” He replied, “OK, I’ll rent an underwater camera.” I dove in with this waterproof camera to take pictures of these actors playing with the new fashionable stretch fabric clothing, but I never opened my eyes underwater. When I got out of the water, the actors asked how it looked and I said, “It’s beautiful!” When the pictures were edited, there were headless people — headless children without arms, women with half their heads gone, etc. The art director said, “This is brilliant work. This is superb! How did you do it?” I never told them, to this day, that I had never seen a thing
If you look through my total number of my photographic work, you’ll see that a lot of it is intimate. I call it “outside to the inside”. I don’t photograph stories, my photographs take on a mood, and have a cumulative effect, but there isn’t a beginning a middle and an end. It’s not a “story” story, it’s more a mood piece.
I once took a picture in 1962 of a very poor black girl in Shelby County, Tennessee, holding a big white doll,” said Bruce Davidson, who is white. “And I didn’t publish it for many years even though it was a powerful image and something I thought told the story. I didn’t put the doll there. I didn’t even say to the little girl, ‘Can you hold it a little higher?’ It was a true moment, but I didn’t know if people would believe it because it almost seemed too good to be true.
‘They treated me like an invisible man,” Bruce Davidson told me. “I was a shadow.”
He was sitting in the living room of a large, tony Upper West Side apartment building with a courtyard — the fruit of a long and very distinguished career in American photography — and was talking about something that happened more than a half century ago. In 1959, he spent 11 months shooting a stunning portfolio of the members of a Brooklyn gang called the Jokers, producing one of the first full-immersion photo essays about an American youth subculture.
One thing I learned is that I had photographs that were very contemporary in their scope that I didn’t print. At the time, I didn’t think they were worthy. What’s great about looking at your work is the emotion comes back. The emotion comes back. The rhythm of what you were photographing comes back. It’s almost like a musical score. You can see where I may have quit too soon, or stayed too long.