Since he first picked up a camera in the late 1960s, New York Photographer Bruce Gilden has been capturing frank and evocative portraits of the patrons of the Big Apple. He has always had a fascination with what he calls “characters”, telling their stories through his confrontational style. “I try to show the thinking process of individuals walking on the street, caught in their thoughts,” Gilden says.

To me, street photography is where you can smell the street, feel the dirt

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.

Yates’s Wine Lodges. Although well priced in comparison to their (...) competitors, these wine lodges acquired a distinctly dismal reputation with typical and often female with overdone make-up. But the unspoilt, original wine lodges, with their high ceilings and bare floorboards, their pillars and rails for propping yourself upright, seem clearly designed for the determined and joyless business of taking the quickest route to oblivion. Peter Yates insisted that, in the interests of sobriety, food should be available throughout licensing hours and every lodge still boasts “something good to eat at any time of the day” (though it maybe often no more than the ubiquitous pork pie!). Ashton-Under-Lyne, England, Great Britain. 1983. © Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos

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