"I'm known for taking pictures very close, and the older I get, the
closer I get."
Bruce Gilden joined Magnum Photos in 1998 and became a full Member
American, b. 1946
Bruce Gilden's childhood in Brooklyn endowed him with a keen eye for
observing urban behaviors and customs. He studied sociology, but his
interest in photography grew when he saw Michelangelo Antonioni's
film Blow-Up, after which he began taking night classes in
photography at the New York School of Visual Arts.
Gilden's curiosity about strong characters and individual
peculiarities has been present from the beginning of his career. His
first major project, which he worked on until 1986, focused on Coney
Island, and on the intimacy of the sensual, fat or skinny bodies
sprawled across the legendary New York beach. During these early
years Gilden also photographed in New Orleans during its famous
Mardi Gras festival. Then, in 1984, he began to work in Haiti,
following his fascination with voodoo places, rites and beliefs
there; his book Haiti was published in 1996.
In June 1998 Gilden joined Magnum. He returned to his roots and
tackled a new approach to urban spaces, specifically the streets of
New York City, where he had been working since 1981. His work
culminated in the publication of Facing New York (1992), and later A
Beautiful Catastrophe (2005); getting ever closer to his subject, he
established an expressive and theatrical style that presented the
world as a vast comedy of manners.
His project After the Off, with text by the Irish writer Dermot
Healey, explored rural Ireland and its craze for horseracing.
Gilden's next book, Go, was a penetrating look at Japan's dark side.
Images of the homeless and of Japan's mafia gangs easily bypassed
the conventional visual clichés of Japanese culture.
Gilden, who has travelled and exhibited widely around the world, has
received numerous awards, including the European Award for
Photography, three National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, and
a Japan Foundation fellowship. He lives in New York City.
2000, 1992, 1979 New York Foundation for the Arts (Artist’s
Fellowship), New York, USA
1999 The Japan Foundation Artist’s Fellowship
1996 European Publishers’ Award for Photography
1995 Villa Medicis Hors les Murs Artist’s Fellowship
1992, 1984, 1980 National Endowment for the Arts Photographer’s
Selected Group Exhibitions
2007 (April) l’image d’Aprés, Cinémathèque Fran?aise, Paris, France
Selected Solo Exhibitions
2006 Siverstein Photography, New York, USA
2006 Sala Municipal de Exposiciones San Benito, Valladolid, Spain
2003 Carla Sozzani Gallery, Milan, Italy
2002 Fotografisk Centrum, Copenhagen, Denmark
1997 Royal Photographic Society, Bath, UK
1993 Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
1992 Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, Virginia, USA
Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan
Museum of Modern Art, New York
The Royal Photographic Society, Bath, England
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England
Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Penn.
Galerie du Chateau d’Eau, Toulouse, France
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas
Paris Audiovisuel, France
Museet for fotokunst, Odense, Denmark
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Photographic Museum of Finland, Helsinki, Finland
Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland
The Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, Virginia
Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France
The Dreyfus Corporation, New York
Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York
National Gallery of Canada
Fogg Art Museum, Cambridge, Mass.
Wilson Centre for Photography, London, England
2006 Fashion Magazine, Magnum Photos, France
2005 A Beautiful Catastrophe, Powerhouse, USA
2002 Coney Island, Trebruk, UK
2000 Go, Trebruk-Magnum, USA
1999 After the Off, Dewi Lewis Publishing, UK
1999 Ciganos, Centro Portuguès de Fotografia, Lisbon, Portugal
1996 Haiti, Dewi Lewis Publishing and Editions Marval, UK & France
1994 Bleus, Cahier#13, Mission Photographique Transmanche,
CRP Nord Pas-de-Calais, France
1992 Facing New York, Cornerhouse Publications, UK
1990 The Small Haiti Portfolio (Limited Edition), Helsinki, Finland