084 - Bruce Gilden

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By Ben Smith. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

An Iconic street photographer with a unique style, Magnum Photos member Bruce Gilden was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1946. He went to Penn State University but he found his sociology courses too boring for his temperament and he quit college. Bruce briefly toyed with the idea of being an actor but in 1967, he decided to buy a camera and to become a photographer. Although he did attend some evening classes at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Bruce mostly taught himself.

HIs abiding fascination for life on the streets began in childhood and was the spark that inspired his first long-term personal projects, photographing in Coney Island and then during the Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Over the years he has produced long and detailed photographic projects in New York, Haiti, France, Ireland, India, Russia, Japan, England and, of course, America. Since the seventies his work has been exhibited in museum and art galleries all over the world and is part of many collections.

Bruce's trademark photographic style is defined by the dynamic accent of his pictures, its graphic qualities, and his original and in your face manner of shooting passers-by with a flash and often close in.

Bruce has received many awards and grants for his work, including a 2013 Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, and has published 18 monographs of his work. He joined Magnum Photos in 1998 and having lived most of his life in Manhatten, now lives in Beacon, New York with his wife and three cats.

In episode 084, Bruce discusses, among other things:

Being yourself

Recently discovered negatives

His difficult childhood

The drug habit that almost killed him

Advantages of working digitally

The criticisms directed at his Face series

What’s he’s learned

Why the kid from his Farm Boys and Farm Girls series (above) was crying uncontrollably

Influencial:

Lisette Model

Leon Levinstein

Ed van der Elsken

Shōmei Tōmatsu

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“I look in the mirror and I smile because of where I came from to where I am. And I do these pictures for me. It defines who I am. I’d love everybody to love them but if they don’t too bad, what can I say?”

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114 episodes