In December 2019, Bruce Gilden frequented one of Palermo’s most typical markets, Ballarò, for about a week. Attracted by the genuine rough faces of its vendors and buyers he spent hours strolling its narrow streets.
Elliott Erwitt, Zun Lee, Alec Soth, and more on the turning points in their photographs—from global and national events to the most personal moments.
Turning points in the lives and works of photographers often span the extremes—from global and national events to the most personal moments. Photographers such as Alec Soth and Zun Lee are able to not only bear witness to events that shape our collective history, but also to map more intimate transitions within their craft and their everyday lives.
In collaboration with Magnum Photos, 10 Corso Como New York presents LOST AND FOUND, an exhibition of Bruce Gilden’s early New York street photographs from the mid 70s through 80s as well as his more recent fashion images.
Magnum photographer Bruce Gilden uncovers 75 images of New York shot between 1978 and 1984.
Bruce Gilden calls the photo “The Strangler.” The long-time Magnum photographer was just walking down a street of New York when he came across the scene. “It’s one of the few pictures where I can remember the scenario,” he said. “These two guys were having this battle in the street. They were so drunk and one had his hand on the other’s neck for a minute.”
The street photographer’s new book of recently discovered pictures from the seventies and eighties, “Lost and Found,” shows the vibrance and squalor of the city.
Street photography has always been a predatory enterprise. Traditionally, the intrepid photographer sets out on the streets as if on safari, picking off prey with a camera unobtrusive enough to not raise the hackles of the local wildlife. (The 35-mm. Leica, introduced, in 1925, at the Leipzig Spring Fair, practically produced the genre, due to its then-novel portability, low profile, and whisper-quiet shutter.) Bruce Gilden, however, has made a name for himself by getting in people’s faces. When he stalks the streets, it is often with a blinding flash attached to his camera, which he’ll pop off at an arm’s length from his subjects, petrifying them in the glare. To extend the safari metaphor: this is akin to dismounting from your jeep and gambolling over to a lion so you can play a game of amateur animal tamer. Remarkably, he did this in New York in the nineteen-eighties. Gilden certainly had some gall.
It's always a treat to listen to two major talents talk shop.
In “Sofa Sessions,” a new video series from the Martin Parr Foundation, you get a chance to see just that. In the latest installment, Parr sits down for a chat with street photographer Bruce Gilden. The two discuss Gilden’s background. thoughts on photography today and a lot more.
I like Gilden. It takes a lot of balls to walk up to someone on the street and push a flash camera in their face. Does it take some special photographic talent? No. But that’s not the point. It takes a certain unified vision. The point is Gilden has created an aesthetic unique to him and hasn’t much deviated from it in 50 years. As such, he’s created a large, coherent body of work. I’ve heard people criticize his work, claiming it gimmicky and artless, something any 8th grader would be capable of. Could your kid have taken these pictures? Yes. But your kid didn’t, and Gilden did, just like it would have been within your kid’s skill set to have painted Jackson Pollock’s Alchemy, 1947. Your kid didn’t, because your kid would have never considered the aesthetic potential inherent in the medium. The genius of Pollock -and Gilden- is having seen the aesthetic others missed.
The photos are part of a series called 'Farm Boys and Farm Girls'
Bruce Gilden has shadowed the residents of cities around the world, capturing the dark side of urban dwellers with a flash in hand. His often-confrontational take on street photography is framed within his modern day film noir sensibility. Since the start of his career in 1968, he says, he has been compared to legendary street photographers like Weegee, William Klein and Lisette Model.” These are photographers who created a new space in a genre that has existed since photography’s inception, pioneering styles that were entirely personal and captured an attitude about their time and perception of the world. Fifty years later, Gilden has carved out a place for himself with almost twenty books in this category. Now he’s redefining himself again.
Street photography can come in many shapes and sizes. For Bruce Gilden, it has a strong definition, one that is exemplified by the close up images he takes of people in the streets. “Detroit: Against the Wind” is Magnum photographer Bruce Gilden’s ode to the Midwestern city and its inhabitants. The exhibition, open until October 6th, commissioned by Leica UK, includes more than 20 new photographs taken by Gilden earlier this year, shot on the Leica M-System.
Magnum photographer Bruce Gilden is talking about his projects: Coney Island, Haiti, Black Country and American Made. Related posts: “American Made” by Bruce Gilden (video) Bruce Gilden on his project for RATP Bruce Gilden – Postcards from America, Magnum
Magnum photographer Bruce Gilden is talking about his projects: Coney Island, Haiti, Black Country and American Made.
I used to believe that photojournalism represented a platonic ideal of veracity, but this naïve notion has eroded. The cause of this loss of innocence isn’t limited to the high profile manipulation that has dogged the industry, but also the realization th
I confess to being previously enamored of Gilden’s style – if nothing else, I have respect for people who do “their thing” for years and years. But after reading May’s article, and seeing Gilden’s images shot over a paltry two days, the love affair is over. Gilden’s images are nothing more than caricatures. His essay is a visual freakshow that says little about the place or the people, and more about creating provocative clickbait. If his intent is to trigger disgust, then mission accomplished
Roger May, the director of Looking at Appalachia, which recently got some nice coverage on Lens, was invited on West Virginia’s “Front Porch” podcast to discuss. Embedded above, you’ll hear 20 minutes of very fair criticism exploring whether Gilden’s garish images feed into existing stereotypes that plague the region in the wake of a long history of exploitative visual representation made by those who parachute in. Or, whether by virtue of being just about indistinguishable from the work Gilden makes anywhere he goes, they engage with that history in a more nuanced way.
“They’re my friends for twenty minutes,” says New York City-based photographer Bruce Gilden of the personalities that together make up his newest book Face. Over the past few years, he has collected the countenances of those who spend their lives overlook
“They’re my friends for twenty minutes,” says New York City-based photographer Bruce Gilden of the personalities that together make up his newest book Face. Over the past few years, he has collected the countenances of those who spend their lives overlooked and unseen in crowds, visages that when scrutinized, slip from the familiar and banal and over—ever so slightly—into the extraordinary.