Description

Sitting on the outskirts of the five boroughs, the world famous pleasure beach of Coney Island has been the summer destination for New Yorkers since its heyday in the 1890s. Towards the end of the 1960s, one year after he first picked up a camera, Bruce Gilden took the subway train through Brooklyn to capture the sunbathers, the weekenders, the sideshow booths and the Cyclone rollercoaster. Coney Island’s reputation has steadily slipped since Gilden started to photograph there, and is now known as a place where the poor who cannot escape the summer city heat go for thrills. Regardless of this reputation, Gilden’s ability to eke out the characters and eccentricities give the beach and its surrounding neighborhood a humorous view of daily life from the sixties through until the late 1980s

I'm known for taking pictures very close, and the older I get, the closer I get

Bruce Gilden
© Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos

An iconic street photographer with a unique style, Bruce Gilden was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1946. Although he did attend some evening classes at the School of Visual Arts in New York, Bruce Gilden is to be considered substantially a self-taught photographer. Right from childhood, he has always been fascinated by the life on the streets and the complicated and fascinating motion it involves, and this 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 and now in America. Bruce Gilden joined Magnum Photos in 1998. He lives in Beacon, New York.

© Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos

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