Bruce Gilden (born 1946 in Brooklyn, New York) is a 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.
Life and work
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).
Publications by Gilden
- The Small Haiti Portfolio (Limited Edition), Helsinki, Finland, 1990.
- Facing New York, Manchester, UK: Cornerhouse Publications, 1992. ISBN 978-0-948797-07-1. Published in conjunction with an exhibition at the Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA.
- Bleus, Mission Photographique Transmanche (Cross Channel Photographic Mission) no. 13. Douchy-les-Mines, France: Centre Régional de la Photographie (CRP) (Regional Centre for Photography), Nord Pas-de-Calais, 1994.
- Haïti, Dreams and Nightmares. Stockport, UK: Dewi Lewis and Paris: Marval, 1997.
- After the Off. Stockport, UK: Dewi Lewis, 1999. ISBN 978-1-899235-17-9. Photographs by Gilden, short story by Dermot Healy.
- Ciganos. Lisbon, Portugal: Centro Portuguès de Fotografia, 1999.
- Haiti. Stockport, UK: Dewi Lewis and Paris: Marval, 1999. ISBN 978-1-899235-55-1.
- Go. London: Trebruk and New York: Magnum Photos, 2000. ISBN 978-0953890101.
- Coney Island. London: Trebruk, 2002. ISBN 978-0-9538901-2-5.
- A Beautiful Catastrophe. Brooklyn, NY: Powerhouse, 2005. ISBN 978-1-57687-238-3.
- Fashion Magazine. Paris: Magnum Photos, 2006. ISBN 978-1-933045-43-6. In English and French.
- Bruce Gilden. Stern Portfolio No.64. Krefeld, Germany: teNeues, 2011. ISBN 978-3-652000-05-5.
- Foreclosures. London: Browns, 2013. ISBN ISBN 978-0-956532-48-0. Available in standard edition (edition of 400) and slipcase edition (edition of 100).
- A Complete Examination of Middlesex. 2013. London: Archive of Modern Conflict. ISBN 978-0-957049-05-5.
- Bruce Gilden. Photofile series. London: Thames & Hudson, 2014. ISBN 978-0-500411-10-0.
- Bruce Gilden. Photo Poche series. Arles, France: Actes Sud, 2014. ISBN 978-2330019624. Preface by Hans-Michael Koetzle. French-language version.
- Moscow Terminus. New York: Dashwood Books, 2014. Edition of 1000 copies.
- Face. Stockport, UK: Dewi Lewis, 2015. ISBN 978-1-907893-75-9. With a text by Chris Klatell.
- Hey Mister, Throw me Some Beads!. Heidelberg, Germany: Kehrer, 2015. ISBN 978-3-86828-608-3.
Publications with contributions by Gilden
- Magnum Stories. London: Phaidon, 2004. ISBN 9780714865034. Edited by Chris Boot.
- Mirror Mirror: Portugal as seen by Magnum Photographers. Göttingen: Steidl, 2005. ISBN 978-3865211484. Photographs by Bruno Barbey, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Thomas Hoepker, Jean Gaumy, Gilden, Josef Koudelka, Guy Le Querrec, Susan Meiselas, Inge Morath, Martin Parr, Gilles Peress, Gueorgui Pinkhassov and Miguel Rio Branco.
- Coney Island. Paris: Trans Photographic, 2009. ISBN 978-2913176645. Photographs by Johnny Miller and Baptiste Lignel. Text by Sophie Gilden and Bruce Gilden.
- Street Photography Now. London: Thames & Hudson, 2010. ISBN 978-0-500-54393-1. Edited by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren.
- Magnum Contact Sheets. London: Thames & Hudson, 2011. ISBN 9780500544129.
- Magnum Contact Sheets. Edited by Kristen Lubben.
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- 1979: Artist’s Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York.
- 1980: Photographer’s Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts.
- 1984: Photographer’s Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts.
- 1984: Artist’s Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York.
- 1992: Photographer’s Fellowship, National Endowment for the Arts.
- 1992: Artist’s Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York.
- 1995: Villa Medicis Hors les Murs (an artist's fellowship), from Institut Français.
- 1996: European Publishers Award for Photography for Haiti.
- 1999: Artist's Fellowship, from the Japan Foundation, for Tokyo Extremes.
- 2000: Artist’s Fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts, New York.
- 2013: Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.
Gilden's work is held in the following collections:
- O'Hagan, Sean (8 March 2011). "Right Here, Right Now: photography snatched off the streets". The Guardian. Retrieved August 2014. Check date values in:
- Bayley, Bruno (16 July 2013). "Bruce Gilden Takes Street Photos Like You've Never Seen Before". Vice. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
- Ballentine, Sandra (2003-02-09). "Footnotes". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
- Matthews, Katherine, Oktober (June 20, 2015). "In Your Face: An Interview with Bruce Gilden". GUP Magazine.
- "Coney Island", Magnum Photos.
- "Go see...". The Observer. 2001-04-01. Retrieved 2008-08-14.
- "Misery Loves Company: The Life and Death of Bruce Gilden". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
- "Bruce Gilden Press Packet", Bruce Silversteine. Accessed 1 September 2014.
- "NYFA New York Foundation for the Arts: Directory of Artists’ Fellows 1985-2013", New York Foundation for the Arts. Accessed 1 September 2014.
- Sibylle Fischer, "Haiti: Fantasies of bare life", Small Axe no 23 (vol. 11 no 2), June 2007, pp. 1–15 (see particularly pp. 1–9–12). PDF available here, Center for Humanities, City University of New York. Accessed 10 May 2014.
- "The Japan Foundation: News No. 224 1999.7.1 ISSN 0918-7189", Japan Foundation. Accessed 1 September 2014.
- "1999", Japan Foundation. Accessed 1 September 2014.
- "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation", John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation. Accessed 31 August 2014.
- "Collection". Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
- "Photograph". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 2 September 2014.
Museum number: PH.670-1987 Gallery location: Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H, case X, shelf 936 20thC; Gilden Bruce, Hitting the deck,(aka The Boxer)
- Official website
- Gilden profile at Magnum Photos
- Bruce Gilden (2014) New York (video)
- on YouTube (video)
- National Public Radio interview with Gilden (audio)
- Bruce Gilden at the Internet Movie Database
- Interview on GUP Magazine ("In Your Face: An Interview with Bruce Gilden", GUP Magazine, June 20, 2015)