Bruce Gilden's Farm Boys And Farm Girls USA

Bruce Gilden's Farm Boys And Farm Girls USA -  Stuart Fawcett has been to Bruce Gilden's latest exhibition, forming part of Photo London. 

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Bruce Gilden Caleb, a farm boy    Jenna a farm girl 

USA. Milwaukee. Wisconsin. 2017. Caleb, a farm boy. © Bruce Gilden / Magnum Photos & USA. Iowa. 2017. Jenna, a farm girl. © Bruce Gilden / Magnum Photos.

Bruce Gilden, known as 'Brutal Bruce' is the infamous shock jock of photography most known for his close-up flash photography of ‘interesting’ looking New Yorkers going about their business as they get flash gunned in his shots. He’s not exactly your average candid street photographer and grew up with a full on go get it attitude to getting the shots he wants when he wants. Perhaps an artist obsessed by his style and the necessary steps to get the images he wants.

Bruce’s Farm exhibition is the showcase feature of the Leica Collectors' Lounge on the balcony of Somerset house in London. It’s Leica’s part of the photo London week from 17h to 20th May 2018.

Stuart Fawcett went along to the launch vernissage event for ePHOTOzine to see the images first hand.  

Bruce Gilden event    

If you stand next to the massive images they dominate the environment you are standing in, you cannot help but react to the space you share with the portrait of the person. Do you remember your youth, worry over your imperfections and how to deal with acne and bad hair days? Then do you still see the shock of the images or would you see the beauty in the eyes and the determined look in their faces, do you see sadness or anger? I think one thing is undeniable - the technical quality of these images is amazing and the detail up close is brilliant, sometimes you can almost see Bruce’s reflection holding his flashgun in their eyes.


Bruce Gilden

I went to Bruce’s exhibition with big reservations about a man that was rude to people, and showed us subjects we don’t normally see, in ways that don’t immediately flatter them. I’m left with a question still to answer, is Bruce making a name for himself at the expense of people’s discomfort, imperfections and eccentricities; or is he just showing us real people we don’t normally see or associate with, forcing us to see humanity in strangers? I think these Farm boys and girls have the odds already stacked against them at a young age, yet I see a determination in each of them to succeed in their ambitions – so they really are quite like most of us after all.  


Bruce Gilden

The Leica exhibition is just a small part of the massive Photo London exhibition, with many galleries there showing off thousands of artistic photographs from around the world to collectors and photographers alike. The event is on until 20th May.

The images were taken with a 37 Megapixel Leica S-System with a sensor area 50% larger than full frame. 

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