Friday, August 21, 2015

Striking street photographer shows human flaws in unflinchingly real images

When it comes to character, Bruce Gilden captures all with his roving lens - even if the resultant stark images can make difficult viewing

Street gallery: Dewayn, Sherri and Terry from Gilden's back catalogue

With its unflinching portrayal of real life faces hardened by circumstances, Bruce Gilden's photography makes uncomfortable viewing.
The snapper aims his lenses at his subjects and represents their damaged edges as cruelly as if he were writing their life stories.
The street photographer is best-known for shots like these, taken on the sidewalks of his lifelong home of New York City.
The stark reliefs of the faces comes from his use of a flashgun, showing up flaws and imperfections in his studies.


Smiling subject: Britney Mey from St Paul, Minnesota in the USA

Smiling subject: Britney Mey from St Paul, Minnesota in the USA

Calling the streets of Brooklyn his 'second home' growing up, Gilden's prime attraction is to the 'characters' of people he sees.
His website explains that his first major project, which he worked on until 1986, focused on Coney Island, the legendary Brooklyn beach where New Yorkers who cannot escape the city heat.

Fringed face: Lee Ann from Milwaukee, Wisconsin in the USA


Fallen features: Shirley from Des Moines, Iowa in the USA

In his early years, Gilden also photographed in New Orleans during Mardi Gras, but his big break came in 1984, when he moved to Haitit to work for a decade.
The resultant book Haiti, published in 1995, won the European Award for Photography.

Unflinching portrait: Betty from West Bromwich in England



Weathered looks: Terry from Des Moines in Iowa, USA

After the earthquake of January 2010, Bruce went back three times.
As well as New York and Haiti, he's turned his focus on rural Ireland, Japan and Russia, always capturing the same edge in his pictures that no one seems to be able to see but him.


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