Description

Bruce Gilden visited Japan in 1998 searching for the darker side of the country, unravelling the idea that people wear a “mask of uniformity”. Gilden wanted to dig deeper to find people who were both physical and intense and who, in one way or another, stood out from the crowd. He spent around an hour a day for five days with the Yakuza, Japan’s mafia, and has said he never felt threatened when he was with them.

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.

© Bruce Gilden | Magnum Photos

Get Magnum news and updates directly to your inbox