Bruce Gilden: Lost & Found
An iconic street photographer with a unique style, Bruce Gilden is defined by his exuberant pictures, and his original and direct manner of shooting the faces of passers-by with a flash. But how has his style evolved?
When digging through his personal archives recently, Gilden unearthed hundreds of unseen contact prints and negatives taken by him in New York between 1978 and 1984, preceding those in his seminal collection Facing New York. From these thousands of original images – most of which are previously unpublished – Gilden has selected the eighty images that are reproduced here. Brimming with youthful energy, and all taken without the flash for which he is now famous, Gilden’s photos celebrate all that New York City – at once familiar and exotic – had to offer. It is an exceptional study of a now-vanished era.
In this extraordinary gallery of portraits, the compositions simmer with energy, bursting with the most diverse characters, as though Gilden intended to include within the frame everything that caught his eye. The images are accompanied by an interview with Gilden by Sophie Darmaillacq, in which Gilden explains for the first time how he developed his style from this early work, and gives details of the images and the stories behind them. In Lost and Found, we already perceive the guiding tropes of the work that was to make Bruce Gilden famous: sustained movement and tension, unrivalled spirit, and an instinctive and irreverent affection for his subjects – perfectly in cahoots with his city.