Bruce Gilden

USA / °1946 / wikipedia

Bruce Gilden (born 1946 in Brooklyn, New York); street photographer. He is best known for his candid close-up photographs of people on the streets of New York City, using a flashgun. He has had numerous books of his work published, has received the European Publishers Award for Photography and is a Guggenheim Fellow.

While studying sociology at Penn State, Gilden saw Michelangelo Antonioni's film Blowup in 1968. Influenced by the film, he purchased his first camera and began taking night classes in photography at the School of Visual Arts of New York. Fascinated with people on the street and the idea of visual spontaneity, Gilden turned to a career in photography. His work is characterized by his use of flash photography. He has worked in black and white most of his life, but he began shooting in color and digital when he was introduced to the Leica S camera as part of Magnum’s Postcards From America project. Gilden has been a member of Magnum Photos since 1998.

His first major project was of people at Coney Island. He has photographed people on the streets of New York, Japan's yakuza mobsters, homeless people, prostitutes, and members of bike gangs between 1995 and 2000. According to Gilden, he was fascinated by the duality and double lives of the individuals he photographed. He has also photographed rural Ireland and horseracing there, as well as voodoo rituals in Haiti.

Gilden is the subject of the documentary film Misery Loves Company: The Life and Death of Bruce Gilden (2007).
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Suzan Hamer


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