(For two years in the 1960s, Bruce Davidson photographed o...)
For two years in the 1960s, Bruce Davidson photographed one block in East Harlem. He went back day after day, standing on sidewalks, knocking on doors, asking permission to photograph a face, a child, a room, a family. Through his skill, his extraordinary vision, and his deep respect for his subjects, Davidson's portrait of the people of East 100th Street is a powerful statement of the dignity and humanity that is in all people.
(Bruce Davidson's groundbreaking Subway, first published b...)
Bruce Davidson's groundbreaking Subway, first published by Aperture in 1986, has garnered critical acclaim both as a documentation of a unique moment in the cultural fabric of New York City and for its phenomenal use of extremes of color and shadow set against flash-lit skin. In Davidson's own words, the people in the subway, their flesh juxtaposed against the graffiti, the penetrating effect of the strobe light itself, and even the hollow darkness of the tunnels, inspired an aesthetic that goes unnoticed by passengers who are trapped underground, hiding behind masks and closed off from each other. In this third edition of what is now a classic of photographic literature, a sequence of 118 (including 25 previously unpublished) images transport the viewer through a landscape at times menacing, and at other times lyrical and soulful. The images present the full gamut of New Yorkers, from weary straphangers and languorous ladies in summer dresses to stalking predators and homeless persons.
(Black and White is the definitive collection of Bruce Dav...)
Black and White is the definitive collection of Bruce Davidson's black-and-white photography, spanning a period of 40 years. This collectable five-volume set comprises reprints of classic books of Davidson's poignant imagery, some of them newly edited and expanded. The seminal bodies of work are Circus (1958), an intimate portrait of a dwarf clown; Brooklyn Gang (1959), depicting a group of troubled youths; Time of Change (1961-1965), a civil rights documentation in America; East 100th Street (1966-1968), showing life on one block in Spanish Harlem; and Central Park (1992-1995), exploring layers of life in New York's famous urban oasis.
(This volume presents Bruce Davidson's personal selections...)
This volume presents Bruce Davidson's personal selections from his lesser-known color archive, from a period of nearly 60 years. Assignments from various magazines including Vogue, National Geographic and Life, as well as commercial projects led Davidson to photograph subjects as diverse as fashion (in the early 1960s), the Shah of Iran with his family (1964), keepers of French monuments (1988), the supermodel Kylie Bax (1997) and college cheerleaders (1989).
(One of the world's most influential photographers, Bruce ...)
One of the world's most influential photographers, Bruce Davidson takes readers inside three midcentury big tops in images that are poetic, realistic and profound. He reveals not only the swiftly vanishing cultural phenomenon of the circus, but what might be called the eternal human circus. At a three-ring show in 1958 he climbed to the top of the tent to view the performances of the famous liontamer Clyde Beatty and human cannonball Hugo Zacchini. His deeper interest lay in the daily lives of circus performers and producers--the roustabouts and riggers, and the pretty girl who rode an elephant in what was called the "spec." He also made an intimate series of a dwarf clown. In 1965 at a huge multi-ring coliseum show, Davidson took a more critical look at performances under a steel-and-concrete environment; continuing behind the scenes, his vision became sharper and more surreal. And in 1967, Davidson caught the elegant exuberance of an Irish one-ring circus. He photographed the kinds of performances that are the essence of the medium, including a face-to-face encounter with an exceptional trapeze artist. Most of these pictures are published here for the first time.
When Bruce Davidson was 10, his mother built him a darkroom in their basement and he began taking photographs. When he was fifteen his mother remarried to a lieutenant commander in the navy who was given a Kodak rangefinder camera, which Davidson was allowed to use before being given a more advanced camera for his bar mitzvah.
He studied at Rochester Institute of Technology and at Yale University's School of Design in New Haven, Connecticut.
After one semester at Yale, Bruce Davidson was drafted into the US Army, where he served in the Signal Corps at Fort Huachuca, Arizona, attached to the post's photo pool. The Army posted Bruce Davidson to Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers in Europe, just outside Paris and he photographed the widow of the impressionist painter Leon Fauché with her husband's paintings in an archetypal garret. Davidson's resulting photo-essay, Widow of Montmartre, was published in Esquire in 1958. The series impressed Henri Cartier-Bresson, who became a personal friend and facilitated Davidson's induction into Magnum Photos.
After his military service, in 1957, Bruce Davidson worked briefly as a freelance photographer. In 1958, he became an associate member of the Magnum Photos agency and a full member a year later. During the summer of 1959 through a social worker he made contact with homeless, troubled teenagers who called themselves the Jokers, and after photographing them over 11 months produced Brooklyn Gang.
Through the agency in 1961 Bruce Davidson received his first assignment to photograph high fashion for Vogue, and was assigned by The New York Times to cover the Freedom Riders in the South. The Freedom Riders assignment in the South led Davidson to undertake a documentary project on the civil rights movement. From 1961 to 1965, he chronicled its events and effects around the country. A number were shown in the 1965 Smithsonian Institution exhibition project Profile of Poverty, produced by the Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) in support of the antipoverty programs of the 1960s. In support of the project, Davidson received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1961, and the project was displayed in 1963 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Upon the completion of his documentation of the civil rights movement, Bruce Davidson received the first ever photography grant from the National Endowment for the Arts of $12,000.
In 1964 Bruce Davidson became an instructor at the School of Visual Arts, New York, and continued to produce features for Vogue. Davidson's next project, published in 1970 as East 100th Street - a two-year documentation of a conspicuously poverty-stricken block in East Harlem - is a widely referenced work.
Over a decade later, in the early 1990s, Bruce Davidson completed a four-year exploration of Central Park in homage to New York City. In 1998, he returned to East 100th Street to document the revitalization, renewal and changes that occurred in the 30 years since he last documented it. For this visit, he presented a community slide show and received an Open Society Institute Individual Fellowship Award.
Bruce Davidson took stills for Michelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point, as he also did on The Misfits, amongst Inge Morath, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Dennis Stock, Eve Arnold, Ernst Haas, Cornell Capa, Elliott Erwitt, and Erich Hartmann. But he also produced motion pictures himself. In 1968 he purchased a 16mm movie camera to film on East 100th Street.
Bruce Davidson directed short films; the documentaries Living off the Land (1986) on conservation in the United Kingdom made with a grant from the American Film Institute and awarded the Critics Choice Award, and Zoo Doctor (1971) for children. With another grant from the American Film Institute he produced a 28-minute dramatisation Isaac Singer’s Nightmare and Mrs. Pupko’s Beard (1972) which appeared on Public Television and won first prize in its class in the 1972 American Film Festival.
Bruce Davidson continues to work as an editorial photographer, and has contributed to the Center for Photography at Woodstock workshops and lectures.
(Bruce Davidson's groundbreaking Subway, first published b...)2011
(One of the world's most influential photographers, Bruce ...)
(This volume presents Bruce Davidson's personal selections...)2015
(Black and White is the definitive collection of Bruce Dav...)2012
(For two years in the 1960s, Bruce Davidson photographed o...)2003