"I'M KNOWN FOR TAKING PICTURES VERY CLOSE, AND THE OLDER I GET, THE CLOSER I GET."
An Iconic street photographer with a unique style, Bruce Gilden was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1946. He first went to Penn State University but he found his sociology courses too boring for his temperament and he quit college. Gilden briefly toyed with the idea of being an actor but in 1967, he decided to buy a camera and to become a photographer. 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, England and now in America.
Since the seventies his work has been exhibited in museum and art galleries all over the world and is part of many collections.
The photographic style of Bruce Gilden is defined by the dynamic accent of his pictures, his special graphic qualities, and his original and direct manner of shooting the faces of passers-by with a flash. Gilden’s powerful images in black and white and now in color have brought the Magnum photographer worldwide fame.
Gilden has received many awards and grants for his work, including National Endowments for the Arts fellowships (1980, 1984 and 1992), French “Villa Medicis Hors les Murs” grant (1995), grants from the New York State Foundation for the Arts (1979, 1992 and 2000), a Japan Foundation Artist Fellowship (1999) and in 2013 a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship.
Bruce Gilden has published 23 monographs of his work, among them: Facing New York, 1992; Bleus, 1994; Haiti, 1996 (European Publishers Award for Photography); After The Off, 1999; Go, 2000; Coney Island, 2002; A Beautiful Catastrophe, 2004; Foreclosures, 2013; A Complete Examination of Middlesex, 2014. In 2015, Gilden published Face, and Hey Mister Throw Me Some Beads! Un Nouveau Regard Sur la Mobilité Urbaine featuring the commission he did for the French transportation system RATP which was released in April 2016. Most recently, Gilden has published Only God Can Judge Me, 2018; Lost And Found, 2019; Palermo Gilden, 2020; and Cherry Blossom, 2021.
Bruce Gilden joined Magnum Photos in 1998. He lives in Beacon, New York.
SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS:
1977. O.K HARRIS GALLERY, New York, NY (also 1979, 1984)
1986. LES RENCONTRES D’ARLES (Catalogue).
1988. HOUSTON CENTER FOR PHOTOGRAPHY, Houston, Texas
1988. BLUE SKY GALLERY, Portland, Oregon
1989. BIBLIOTHEQUE NATIONALE, Paris, France
1991. BLATENT IMAGE/SILVER EYE, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1991. FOTOGRAFICENTRUM, Stockholm, Sweden 1986
1991. PHOTOGRAPHIC MUSEUM OF FINLAND, Helsinki
1992. SCHLOSSMUSEUM, Kleve Fotogalerie in der Schwanenberg, Germany
1992. GALERIE FNAC, Paris (Traveling exhibition)
1992. THE CHRYSLER MUSEUM, Norfolk, Virginia
1993. GERMAN-AMERICAN INSTITUTE, Heidelberg
1993. GALERIA FORUM, Tarragona, Spain
1993. THE SPECIAL PHOTOGRAPHERS COMPANY, London
1993. MUSEE DE L’ELYSEE, Lausanne, Switzerland
1993. GALERIE BODO NIEMANN, Berlin, Germany
1993. MUSEE DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE, CHARLEROI, Belgium,
1993. FOTOGALERIA SAN MARTIN, Buenos Aires, Argentina
1994. CENTRE REGIONAL DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE, Nord Pas-de-Calais, France
1997. GALLERY 292, NYC
1994. LEICA GALLERY, NYC 1997 and Solms, Germany
1997. ROBERT B. MENSCHEL PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY, Syracuse University, Syracuse, New York
1997. ENCONTROS DA IMAGEM, Braga, Portugal
1997. GALERIE DU CHATEAU D’EAU, Toulouse, France
1997. THE ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY, Bath, England
1998. L’IMAGERIE CENTRE SAVIDAN, Lannion, France
1998. NIKON SALON, Tokyo, Japan
1999. ARQUIVO FOTOGRAFICO MUNICIPAL, Lisbon, Portugal (book)
2000. GALLERY OF PHOTOGRAPHY, Dublin, Ireland
2000. (1994, 1990) AGATHE GAILLARD GALLERY, Paris, France
2000. SHADAI GALLERY, Tokyo, Japan
2001. VISA POUR L’IMAGE, Perpignan, France
2003. FOTOGRAFISK CENTRUM, Copenhagen, Denmark
2003. FOTOGRAPHIE FORUM, Frankfurt, Germany
2003. FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DE LA MER, Vannes, France
2003. CARLA SOZZANI GALLERY, Milan, Italy
2006. SALA MUNICIPAL DE EXPOSITIONES SAN BENITO, Valladolid, Spain
2006. BRUCE SILVERSTEIN GALLERY, New York, NY
2008. TEEN HAAF GALLERY, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
2010. AMADOR GALLERY, New York, NY
2011. DERBY MUSEUM & ART GALLERY, England
2012. LOOK 3, Charlottesville, VA
2012. PHOTOVILLE, Brooklyn, NY
2012. METENKO MUSEUM OF PHOTOGRAPHY, Ekaterinenburg, Russia
2012. LEICA JAPAN, Tokyo, Japan
2013. HIGHER PICTURES GALLERY, New York, NY
2014. ROBERT MORAT GALLERY, Berlin, Hamburg, Germany
2015. COB GALLERY, London, England
2015. UN NOUVEAU REGARD SUR LA MOBILITE URBAINE, Paris Metro Multiple Stations, Paris France
2015. POLKA GALERIE, Paris, France
2016. LEICA GALLERY, London England
2018. LEICA at PHOTO LONDON, London England
2018-2019. THIS LAND, Foreclosures and Face series exhibition at Pier 24, San Francisco, CA
2020. LOST AND FOUND and FASHION, 10 Corso Como, New York, NY
2020. LOST AND FOUND, Galerie Polka, Paris France
2021. FESTIVAL IMAGES Gibellina, Sicily, Italy
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS:
1987. “TWELVE PHOTOGRAPHERS LOOK AT US”, Philadelphia Museum of Art (Catalogue)
1987. “57th & 5th”, PACE/MACGILL GALLERY, New York City
1988. “NYC-SAME STREETS-3 VIEWS”, Houston FotoFest (Catalogue
1988. VICTORIA AND ALBERT MUSEUM, London, England
1989. MOIS DE LA PHOTO, Montreal, Canada (Catalogue)
1991. “MEAN STREETS: American Photographs from the Collection”, Museum of Modern Art, New York
1991. ‘REGARDS SUR MEDECINS SANS FRONTIERES”, Traveling exhibition (Catalogue)
1993. “RECENT ACQUISITIONS”, Museum of Modern Art, New York
1994. “UBER DIE GROSSEN STADTE”, Marstall, Berlin, Germany
1994. “MAGIC MOMENTS: 40 YEARS OF LEICA M”, Traveling exhibition (Catalogue)
1994. HASSELBLAD CENTER, Goteborg, Sweden
1994. “WHO’S LOOKING AT THE FAMILY?” Barbican Art Gallery, London (Catalogue)
1999. MAGNUM: “OUR TURNING WORLD” Traveling exhibition, Barbican Art Gallery, London (Book)
2000. “NEW YORK NOW”, Museum of The City of New York, NY
2001. “NEW YORK SEPTEMBER 11” by Magnum Photographers (Traveling exhibition and book),
2002. “LIFE OF THE CITY”, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
2002. “NEW YORK CAPITAL OF PHOTOGRAPHY”, The Jewish Museum, NY
2004. “MAGNUM’S NEW YORKERS”, Museum of the City of New York, NY
2007. “TOKYO SEEN BY MAGNUM PHOTOGRAPHERS”, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan
2007. “60 YEARS OF FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY FROM MAGNUM”, Magnum Print Room & Atlas Gallery, London, England
2008. “70’s AMERICAN PHOTOGRAPHY”, Bibliothèque Nationale Paris, France (Book)
2010. “NEVER JUST LOOKING”, Galerie Thomas Zander, Cologne, Germany
2012. STREET PHOTOGRAPHY NOW, London, England (Traveling Exhibition and Book)
2014. POSTCARDS FROM AMERICA, Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee, WI
2015. FRAMING BODIES, Hasselblad Center, Goteborg, Sweden
2016. STRANGE AND FAMILIAR, England seen by foreign photographers, Barbican Center, London, England
2016-2017. STRANGE AND FAMILIAR, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, England
2020-2021. OPEN FOR BUSINESS Magnum Photographers on Commission, Deutshe Borse Photography Foundation, Traveling Exhibition
2020. TRIENNIAL, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Australia
1992, 1984, 1980: National Endowment for the Arts Photographer’s Fellowship.
1995: Villa Medicis Hors les Murs Artist’s Fellowship.
1996: European Publishers’ Award for Photography.
1999: The Japan Foundation Artist’s Fellowship.
2000, 1992, 1979: New York Foundation for the Arts (Artist’s Fellowship), New York, USA.
2013: Guggenheim Fellowship
Pier 24, San Francisco, CA
The Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Bill Block Collection, Los Angeles, CA
Elton John Collection, Atlanta, GA
Archive of Modern Conflict, London, England
Martin Parr Foundation, Bristol, England
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
Milwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee WI
The Carpenter Center For Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA
The Hasselblad Collection, Gothenburg Sweden
Center For Creative Photography, Tucson AZ
Arquivo Fotografico Municipal, Lisbon Portugal
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Australia