After recently moving house, Bruce Gilden discovered hundreds of contact prints and negatives in his personal archives, from work undertaken in New York, his native city, between 1978 and 1984. From these thousands of images, most of which are new even to their author, Gilden has selected around a hundred. Extending from the desire to revisit the work of his youth, this historic archive constitutes an inestimable treasure.
An extraordinary New York is portrayed here, revealing an unknown facet of Gilden’s oeuvre. With all the energy of a young man in his thirties, and with no flash (before Gilden became famous for its almost systematic use), Gilden launched an assault on New York in a visibly tense atmosphere. In this extraordinary gallery of portraits, the compositions—mostly horizontal—simmer with energy, bursting with the most diverse characters, as though Gilden intended to include within the frame everything that caught his eye.
In this book, we see the guiding tropes of the work that was to make Gilden famous: sustained movement and tension, unrivaled spirit, and an instinctive and irreverent affection for his subjects, perfectly in cahoots with his city.