Bruce Gilden is one of the most divisive figures in modern street photography. His “in your face” confrontational style has sparked much debate about the boundaries of art and personal space and it seems people either love him or hate him. A new mini-documentary features Bruce shooting on the streets in New York City. Hit the jump for the full video.
The video has some narration and subtitles in Swedish but it’s still an excellent opportunity to see Bruce work and hear him talk as he shoots on the bitter cold streets of New York City. He seems at once at odds with and genuinely amazed by the people and things around him.
When you’re a photographer, like me, there are no days of the week. Certain days are better than others but every fucking day is the same.
Bruce Gilden On The Street
Bruce uses a Leica M6 loaded with Tri-X and a hand-held manual flash to create his stark, other-worldly street portraits. Jumping down to below eye level with his flash held high above the camera to snap shots of unsuspected passers-by. Dodging and weaving through the crowded streets in search of the next “character” to photograph.
He’s not afraid of confrontation and meets any objections with typical New York bravado. But it’s interesting how few people actually object to being shot in this way. His subjects might turn and look, or give him a disapproving look but New Yorkers generally just keep moving.
The fine line between danger and peaceful interaction seems to be the perfect playing field for this master street photographer.