Bruce Gilden

Bruce Gilden

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, 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, where he returned nineteen times. The book “Haiti “concluded this work in 1996. In February 2010, Gilden went back to Haiti, and has now returned three more times to work on a second opus dedicated to the Haitians’ everyday life struggles.

Since 1981, Bruce Gilden had been working on his on-going project, the streets of New York City. It culminated in the publication of “Facing New York” in 1992, and later in 2005, in “A Beautiful Catastrophe”. His next project “After the Off,” explored rural Ireland and its passion for horseracing. Gilden also carried out personal projects in India and Russia.

Published in 2000 Gilden’s next book, “Go”, is the result of Gilden’s immersion in Japanese culture, with images of Yakuza (the Japanese Mafia), the homeless, and Bosozoku (young biker gangs In 2008, Bruce Gilden felt the need to photograph in his own country and draw a social portrait of America in this time of great recession. In the fall of 2011, Gilden will have completed the fourth segment of his extended personal project on foreclosures in Nevada, “No Place like Home,”which had previously led him to Florida, Detroit, and Fresno, California.

This summer, Gilden traveled to Australia to photograph Mick Gatto and his friends for his ongoing project on special characters. Gilden will also carry out a commission for the Archive of Modern Conflict in London that he started in 2010.

Bruce Gilden joined Magnum in 1998. 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 Fellowship

Selected Group Exhibitions

2007 (April)       l’image d’Aprés, Cinémathèque Française, Paris, France  (catalogue)

Selected Solo Exhibitions

2010         Amador Gallery, New York, USA
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

Selected Collections

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


2011        Stern Fotografie Portfolio #64
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



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