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Bruce Gilden

Why These?

A black-and-white candid photograph of a group of people in bathing suits at Coney Island
Coney Island, New York City, USA. 1982 © Bruce Gilden / Magnum Photos

Bruce Gilden: Why These? surveys Gilden’s oeuvre of gritty, true-to-life street photography through choice works hand-selected by the artist himself. A combination of large-scale color portraits as well as black-and-white photos taken all over the globe will give viewers an intimate glimpse into the unvarnished worlds of street life that Gilden has been documenting for decades.

A close-up flash photography portrait of a blonde-haired woman wearing red lipstick and hoop earrings
Donna, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. 2014 © Bruce Gilden / Magnum Photos
A close-up flash photography portrait of a person with tattoos on their face and chest
Amber, Kensington, Philadelphia, USA. 2023 © Bruce Gilden / Magnum Photos
"Bruce Gilden’s often-disquieting photos dig deep into the psyches of everyday people. By revealing what’s just beneath the surface, he captures the fear that underlies so many of our thoughts about ourselves and those around us."
Jessica Jarl, Global Director of Exhibitions at Fotografiska


Bruce Gilden is a self taught photographer, born in Brooklyn, NY in 1946. His photographic style 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 joined Magnum Photos in 1998, and has received a multitude of awards for his work, including the European Publishers Award for Photography, a Japan Foundation Artist Fellowship, a Villa Medicis Hors les Murs Artist’s Fellowship, and a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship.