Magnum - is this

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by rui_lebreiro, Oct 23, 2008.

  1. after seeing a video about Bruce Gilden's work in NY, i never went to visit magnum photos site again
    (this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkIWW6vwrvM)

    even if some few photos look nice, i think the intrusive and desrespectfull style is just not up to magnum standards
    or should i say, the original magnum standards

    even using a flash w/ a leica M... that's a sin
    of course all of us remember famous Cartier-Bresson quotes about the horror of using a flash:
    "Avoid making a commotion, just as you wouldn’t stir up the water before fishing. Don’t use a flash out of
    respect for the natural lighting, even when there isn’t any. If these rules aren’t followed, the photographer
    becomes unbearably obstrusive"

    am i an "old traditional guy" (a 35 years old one) or some of you share my thoughts?

    regards,
    rui
     
  2. Well Rui,

    Just the illustration of what I said in my message on the thread about Cartier-Bresson... This guy is looking for extraordinary characters and complains about the similarity of dressing of people nowadays in his favorite part of Brooklyn... And he uses a flashgun...

    HCB way was the exact opposite, stay unnoticed as long as possible, and photograph ordinary people in normal or extraordinary but significant situations or attitudes...

    But what paper is now interested in the true life of ordinary people ?

    Most of Bruce Gilden's photographs are for me nothing but trash... Both artistically and technically. I don't know how such people can live from their images...

    The fact he used a flashgun with a Leica M for such work is just another non-sense... Flash for flash Weegee's work with a 4"x5" Speed Graphic was far better and far more revealing... Even if the events recorded were far from ordinary life of ordinary people, they were images of a certain reality.

    FPW
     
  3. after seeing a video about Bruce Gilden's work in NY, i never went to visit magnum photos site again (this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkIWW6vwrvM)
    You're going to dismiss the work of an entire agency just because one (of several dozen) member's work doesn't appeal to you? OK. Your loss, I suppose.
    even if some few photos look nice, i think the intrusive and desrespectfull style is just not up to magnum standards or should i say, the original magnum standards
    Just what are the "original magnum standards" according to you? Magnum was founded in 1947 with the express purpose of placing control of the pictures (copyright) in the hands of the photographers, preserving their original authorship and encouraging individual styles. Whether or not you agree with Gilden's approach, his style is his own and appears to me to be perfectly in line with the purposes of Magnum's original reason for being.
    even using a flash w/ a leica M... that's a sin
    One of the reasons it was deemed a "sin" to use a flash on a Leica M, I suspect, was the horrendously slow flash sync (1/50) of the cloth shutter. So instead of just admitting "this shutter is quiet but it sucks for daylight flash fill," people came up with the excuse that "it's a sin."
    of course all of us remember famous Cartier-Bresson quotes about the horror of using a flash: "Avoid making a commotion, just as you wouldn’t stir up the water before fishing. Don’t use a flash out of respect for the natural lighting, even when there isn’t any. If these rules aren’t followed, the photographer becomes unbearably obstrusive"
    That was Cartier-Bresson's approach. I, for one, am glad he wasn't stupid enough to impose his own views and philosophies on every prospective Magnum member, otherwise we'd have today an agency of Cartier-Bresson-parroting lemmings indistinguishable from each other.
    I remember once hearing a story from a Magnum member about a photographer who applied for membership but was denied. The irate photographer cried out "But look! My pictures look just like Cartier-Bresson's!"
    "Yes," the Magnum member said. "And in some cases I can't tell one from the other. But there is a difference: While your pictures look like Cartier-Bresson's, Cartier Bresson's pictures look like no-one else's."
     
  4. am i an "old traditional guy"
    No, just someone who needs to expand his horizons a little. If I took the same approach as yours but applied it to paintings, I'd only be looking at and appreciating prehistoric cave art, while dismissing the work of Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Vermeer, daVinci et al as "not being up to the original standards."
     
  5. jtk

    jtk

    Have Magnum Members "applied" for membership or has that been extended to them?
     
  6. I'll second everything that el Fang says.

    It's like saying one can't appreciate anything American because you don't like Bush. Just plain, well maybe stupid is a bit harsh.

    I like some of the images...partly because they DON'T look like so many images that are blatant copies of the HCB style...I'm starting to cringe everytime I hear someone say they are trying to be unobtrusive so they can catch 'the decisive moment'. Blather.

    John, it may have changed in the last few years, but when the book 'Magnum: The Legendary Photo Agency' was published (1996 or so) it appeared that you had to be sponsored to get in. So it sounds like a bit of both...you could probably 'apply' (through a letter/portfolio) to an existing member, who would then recommend you to the agency.

    But that may have changed.

    There was one funny little quote I remember from that book. It said that every year Magnum gets, literally 1000's of photographers enquiring on how to get in. They have a cap on membership, at the time about 150 photographers, many of them had great egos, meaning that their was lot of infighting and disagreement on how the agency should be run.

    The quote said (and I can't for the life of me remember who said it)..."Every year their are a thousand photographers trying to get into Magnum...and 150 trying to get out!"
     
  7. I get your point.

    It's not the pictures (even if i don't like most of them), the main issue here is the lack of respect, and the
    respect for people you see in HCB photography is far beyond his style. That is an essencial point on HCB (and
    magnum) principles!

    I can tell you if Bruce Gilden ever tries this ... "approach" in European latin countries, we risks getting
    beaten. And it's pretty obvious why.
     
  8. "I can tell you if Bruce Gilden ever tries this ... "approach" in European latin countries, we risks getting beaten. And it's pretty obvious why."

    well that certainly says a lot about the people living in those countries...

    anyway, i don't think it's too disrespectful. some people may not want their picture taken, but gilden's approach is up front. would these people in european latin countries like a photographer taking their picture any better if it was from a distance with a telephoto?

    there's a lot of things out there in the street that a lot of people don't like. (smokers, beggers, loud talkers, slow walkers etc) get over it
     
  9. original standards = disrespecting your subject (human beings)?

    In this case I don't think you should compare his approach to painting..but that's just me.
    I'm quite taken back by his arrogance and intrusive behavior. What is funny and almost unbelievable is how he yells at those he photographs (when they smile or react to a man shoving a camera in their face). I don't really think this guys "style" of photographing is one that really opens peoples minds. There are plenty of photographers who find "characters" without this semi-abusive method.
     
  10. Rui, I wouldn't judge all of Magnum by the work of Bruce Gilden, but I have to agree with Francois's judgment about his
    photographs. Gilden's work and technique often seem to be infused with disrespect for the essential humanity of his
    subjects and thus seems to run counter to the history and spirit of Magnum.

    Maybe they include him so that the work of their other photographers will look so much the better by comparison.
     
  11. They certainly are "in your face" photos. Both ways -- of the subject -- of the viewer.

    The Yazuka (Japanese mobster) shots are gutsy. The Haitian ones have a different point of view. But he is merciless on the folks at Coney Island, but Coney Island is a place for real people, not just pretty people, one of the most non-elite beaches in the world.

    The pictures say something, they have a message. You may not like the message, but a message is part of art.
     
  12. I think that the fact that Gilden is a member of Magnum, that he has numerous books published and that he has one three awards from The National Endowment for the Arts (amongst many other awards) probably does not care too much about what is being said here.

    I am amazed at the attitude of late that goes..."I don't like that so it's bad'.

    How about 'different strokes for different folks'.
     
  13. Bob,

    Maybe being "a member of Magnum", as you say, doesn't mean as much as it did in the past.
    Try not to see it as a snob saying by me (i'm really noone in photography), but as an opinion i hear more and more in photographers these days.

    The image of Magnum is the image of their photographers.

    Rui
     
  14. Matt M,

    If you still didn't have a chance of seeing it for yourself, people in latin european countries (spain, portugal, italy) are very friendly, open, sincere, trustfull.
    You can chat 10 minutes w/ someone you just met, and have them invite you to lunch w/ their family.

    People tend care about others, even if strangers on the street.

    And being like that, so trustfull, of course also would fell offended in behaviours like those of Bruce Gilden.

    Rui
     
  15. Rui...never said being a member of Magnum doesn't mean as much now as in the past. What the quote was refering to (in jest) was that there were so many egos involved in Magnum that it was difficult to be a member...everyone had their own ideas of what the agency should be.

    Again...when you have as many awards as Gilden to your credit...then I'll listen.
     
  16. cpj

    cpj

    Please, sending us to a web page with 50 video stills on it and trying to find out which one you are talking about is not helpful. If
    you have to comment on something of "importance" to the rest of the Leica world, at least give us the precise URL so we can
    find it. Thank you.
     
  17. CPeter,
    It's right on my first post:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkIWW6vwrvM

    Rui
     
  18. Having bumped into Bruce Gilden while we were both photographing in Manhattan in, I think, 1977, I can say that he can very nice to people he photographs. I have pictures of him very engaged in conversation with an elderly woman he'd just photographed. They are having a good time chatting up a storm. He wasn't shooting with a flash that day, but I was. He was shooting his 28mm, and I a 40mm, so I could afford to be a little further away. ;-) And, Rui, I can also report that Bruce did as you say your Europeans do - he invited me, an absolute stranger, to his home for a meal and to meet his lovely wife. He is an intense guy, but he's also a nice guy. You heard it from someone whe's met him.
     
  19. I've also worked with him. He is one of the nicest guys you will ever meet. I also realize how different
    peoples reactions to photography can be. I was utterly stunned when I first saw his work. I was just knocked
    out by it. The wit, the irony, the sarcasm, and the pure insight into the human condition. I never realized
    before that you could make pictures like that. My reaction when it comes to him and Magnum was "why can't there
    be other innovative Magnum photographers like Bruce?".

    A lot of Magnum photographers like to play it safe. Gilden doesn't play it safe. And yes, he uses a flash, so
    what? His technique with it is ferocious.

    What is it that we want? I lot of pretty pictures that remind us how nice the world is? I guess some of us want
    that. How sad.
     
  20. In this case I don't think you should compare his approach to painting.
    "WHOOSH!" said the point as it flew over Leslie P's head.
     
  21. well, to my utter suprise i am going with pretty much all mr fang had to say.
     
  22. I imagine William Klein working much the same way.
    It's a valid and interesting style.
    Like Phillip Jones Griffiths vs. Martin Parr.
    Both phenomenal eyes; polar opposites in style and approach.

    I think it's largely a demeanor thing.
    Or a New York thing.
    I'd have been stabbed in the stomach ages ago if that's how I shot.
    But I wouldn't, so I don't, and I'm not in magnum either. And haven't tried to be.
     
  23. Jim and Edward,

    I have no problem believing Bruce is a fantastic person and that can be very nice to people. It's not the person,
    it's the style.

    I don't know about you, and I even believe in NY it's "ok" if you shoot a flash on someone's face. In Europe it
    isn't, it's rude and desrespectfull.

    I'm aware his style is a new tendency, ok. I don't appreciate it but I respect others do.

    Anyway it makes me sad to see Magnum when that way. Others might say Magnum is open-minded doing it. Opinions... :)

    Rui
     
  24. "I'm aware his style is a new tendency, ok. I don't appreciate it but I respect others do."

    Not as new.

    There are high audience TV programs (probably with the highest share ratings) that desperately look for this effect, to
    show the most "human" (in the lowest sense of the word) reactions. The more ridiculous, ugly, rare, reaction the
    better food for some kind of spectator. The journalist use the subject without respect, like a mere object to get
    his/her material to sell. Good-maners usually are an obstacle. A false friendliness and somekind of phylosophical art
    motives and verbal dhiarroea are their excuse.

    The most used trick is to make the subject mad, to catch him/her unaware, to ask him (TV) stupid, upsetting or
    bothering questions and record the reactions. When creativity lacks, foolishness appear. I think this is a clear
    sample of the photography version.

    This could work in some places where people could have not been so abused in this way. In the "Latin european"
    countries people that are aware of this "creations" hate to be part of them. Also, in this cities people don`t feel as
    anonymous like NY people, thought. There is a saying that reflect this... "The best of NY/London/etc. is that you can
    wear a flowerpot over your head and nobody will notice it".

    I definitely prefer HBC style.
     
  25. "Anyway it makes me sad to see Magnum when that way. Others might say Magnum is open-minded doing it. "

    Well, perhaps Magnum is not so different than other agencies. They are a co-operative, and his members could have
    more or less succesful work and ways of working. If this photog wouldn`t have shown his way of working surely much
    more people will be pleased with him and his photography, thought. The issue is that they wanted to make profit of
    his videos too, and some people feels dissapointed after looking at this one...
     
  26. "I can tell you if Bruce Gilden ever tries this ... "approach" in European latin countries, we risks getting beaten. And it's pretty obvious why."
    well that certainly says a lot about the people living in those countries... I>
    Probably not. I've lost count of the number of posts I read on photo.net with various users talking about how "people" feel about having their photo taken, how "people" react to seeing a camera (or to a particular kind of camera), how you can't photograph certain subjects, how you have to ask permission or risk getting punched, etc., but in my extensive experience actually photographing people in public, I've seen almost no evidence that those claims in photography forums have any basis in fact.
     
  27. Mike, have you experienced different reactions coming from people from different places, social or cultural/religious
    stages?
     
  28. "...have you experienced different reactions coming from people from different places, social or cultural/religious stages?"
    Sorry to jump in, but I say no. People are people, engage them and they open up to you.
     
  29. BTW, go back and watch the video again. I counted at least three people smiling during the picture (or immediately after). And everyone else walked on by without the slightest commotion or concern. The one voice in the crowd was a passerby who said "not here" and continued on.

    I think you're projecting your own feelings onto something you don't fully understand and certainly don't do on a regular basis.
     
  30. Rui,<br>
    i don´t undarstand what´s the problem with his style of photographing? it's Manhattan! i'm fairly certain he wouldn't try it on Chicago's South Side or Moscow. at least not for long... ;) different places can have different aproaches to photographing people there. i don't see why you're making a big deal. <br>KN
     
  31. The video surely has been edited with the consequent cuts... obviously the scene where the big guy chew the Leica while try to throw the photographer to the river has been cutted... ;) (Just kidding)
     
  32. Mike, have you experienced different reactions coming from people from different places, social or cultural/religious stages?
    I've seen some differences depending on location/culture, but I've never seen the kind of hostility or widespread self-consciousness that I often see mentioned in forums. My point is that it's not wise to assume that people will react the way that someone on a forum claims they will.
     
  33. My general observation is that people who are comfortable talking to strangers are comfortable photographing them.
     
  34. I don't know about you, and I even believe in NY it's "ok" if you shoot a flash on someone's face. In Europe it isn't, it's rude and desrespectfull.
    Was the video shot in Europe? No? It was shot in NY, right? Because clearly you know Bruce Gilden so well that you are SURE he'd take the exact same approach no matter what country or culture he happened to be in.
     
  35. Kostya,

    Disrespect for the people photographed is disrespect for the people photographed, no matter where.

    If NY people live happy with that, that's great for people who like BG's style.

    Anyway and again, it's just my opinion. I respect others like it.

    Rui
     
  36. i think that's the discussion rui.... why do you feel his style is dis respectful to the people photographed?

    like i said, when out in the public streets, you are giving up your privacy. cameras are everywhere capturing your image 24/7 in most cities.
     
  37. Matt,

    If someone literaly jumps in your face and shoots you in the eyes like 50cm away, don't you fell... "invaded"?
    Now imagine being done this w/ a flash.

    This is exactly when "the photographer becomes unbearably obstrusive", HCB words.

    Rui
     
  38. aahahah awsome point rui, i was abt to swing the other way, but thats a great point. I for one don't like obnoxious photographers, but at the same time, its their style and they get it done a different way than i do. But it reflects in his work, which to me isnt all that impressive. his composition is really good for the most part. but his subjects are uncomfortable, and startled... and if thats what hes going for, he got it... but i wouldnt be voting very high for it as a judge...
     
  39. "If someone literaly jumps in your face and shoots you in the eyes like 50cm away, don't you fell... "invaded"? "

    If he/she looks official I'd just assume they are there to do a job, like a TV news crew and I just happened to help illustrate whatever story they are telling by walking by. Nothing negative. I think that's just your reaction.
     
  40. "This is exactly when "the photographer becomes unbearably obstrusive", HCB words."
    Please respond to the "three people smiling" comment I made earlier? Where is the great disrespect? Where is the outrage? The entire video is a non-starter, except for the fact that it doens't fit with your glorifiaction of a dead* Frenchman's quote.











    * did I mention he was dead?
     
  41. He needs a longer lens and faster film. Ugh.
     
  42. I think one problem I am seeing here is the assumption that because he is with Magnum Gilden is an heir the Cartier-Bresson. He's MUCH closer to Weegee, another photographer who ran around popping a flash in people's faces (although in Weegee's case it was a huge potato-masher shot directly toward them). I don't know what photographic traditions are like in Europe, but in NY work of that sort has been a staple of the local newspapers since before my father was born.

    Also, Gilden never actually sticks his flash in anyone's face. He brings his arm around so the flash is oblique and doesn't blind them, far less disruptive than Weegee.
     
  43. I absolutely agree with Rui's words. I would love to watch Mr. Gilden using his wonderful and exciting photographic technique only a few streets up, in Harlem, for example.
     
  44. I think you might want to expand your thoughts there TT, because as they stand could easily be interpreted as racist.
     
  45. S, I only see racism in your interpretation. By the way, let's review some words written above: Rui: "I can tell you if Bruce Gilden ever tries this ... "approach" in European latin countries, we risks getting beaten. And it's pretty obvious why.".... "Other poster: "well, that certainly says a lot about the people living in those countries... " S, Do you get the point?
     
  46. I haven't interpreted anything yet. I offer you the opportunity to explain why you think Bruce Gilden should be concerned about photographing in Harlem before I comment further.
     
  47. Last time I was shooting up in Harlem I got stopped by a large black man. He put thrust his hand into his pocket and pulled out a .... business card. He was a model and wanted to know if I could use him for anything. Then he complimented my on my Hasselblad.

    Triomar, I shoot street photography in Harlem. With a flash.

    The only time I was was ever assaulted while shooting was in a white neighborhood in Scranton PA, where I was doing architectural photography for a city-history project and was photographing the side of an old building and was attacked by a white man in a suit and tie who thought I was a pedophile casing the neighborhood.

    Speak not until you have been there and done that.
     
  48. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    Don't be angry with the lion who kills the wildebeest. It is the lion's job. The lion will never travel to Kodiak or Katmai, Alaska to work in the mighty Grizzly bear turf. It isn't pleasant, but the lion eats. Photographers can be well fed, too. I personally would not like to be photographed this way, but Gilden's food looks delicious.

    By the way, thanks for bringing him up. I remember seeing several of his photos (displayed in the video) quite a few years ago, and I'd forgotten who the photographer was.
     
  49. S, you are not in the position to give me opportunities. Could you explain why you think my previous comment could be interpreted as racist?
     
  50. I previously said:
    "I can tell you if Bruce Gilden ever tries this ... "approach" in European latin countries, we risks getting beaten. And it's pretty obvious why."

    This is the same racism (none!) as saying he'd probably get the same outcome in Harlem.

    Rui
     
  51. lotsa BS going on here, way off topic. Personal agendas that have nothing to do with photography, much less bruce gilden
    photography. I don't like his stuff either, but "walk a mile in my shoes" etc, etc. where's Leica in all this?
     
  52. Guys, implicit in the statement is that people in Harlem are more violent than people downtown. If that is not a stereotype (and one that is at total odds with my own experience) then I don't know what a stereotype is.
     
  53. Edward, thanks very much for your post. I'm pretty sure that using a polite photographic style in Harlem is an enjoyable experience (exactly the same as it happens in European latin countries). I've been taking street-people photography in Spain, Portugal, Italy and France. Never had a problem, but I would never try to smash a flash on people.
     
  54. 'If someone literaly jumps in your face and shoots you in the eyes like 50cm away, don't you fell... "invaded"? Now imagine being done this w/ a flash.' - Rui

    i would not feel invaded. i would possibly feel invaded by someone shooting me from a 100yards away with a 300mm lens. disrespectful is swearing loudly in conversation or into your phone while there are children around. directly walking up to someone and taking a picture, is not.
     
  55. Thought experiment: suppose someone took a flash unit, WITHOUT a camera, and went around flashing people --
    ordinary people, not involved in newsworthy events and not celebrities -- in the face from close up, just to amuse himself
    by watching their reaction. Would you deem such behavior objectionable? Does attaching a camera to the flash make it
    less objectionable?

    If you personally don't consider it objectionable, as Matt apparently doesn't, do you think that some people reasonably
    might?

    For the sake of the experiment, assume, first, that the flasher simply bursts out laughing after startling his subject; then,
    alternatively, that he goes home and writes down his observations about the people he has startled, intending to write an
    academic paper. Does the purpose of his activity matter in evaluating whether his conduct is objectionable?

    Enquiring minds want to know.
     
  56. Rui Lebreiro wrote:

    > It's not the pictures (even if i don't like most of them), the main issue
    > here is the lack of respect, and the respect for people you see in HCB
    > photography is far beyond his style. That is an essencial point on HCB
    > (and magnum) principles!"

    HCB took many pictures of people without asking permission first. Sometimes, he took pictures of people without their
    knowledge. He touted the Leica's virtues - small size, quietness and so on. Bruce Gilden is also taking photos without
    permission and, liked HCB, often producing results that the subject wouldn't think of as flattering.

    The difference is that Gilden is brazen about it. That's not disrespectful. If anything, the fact that he sees no need whatsoever
    to be furtive about what he does might be seen as laudable. (HCB often hid his Leica under his coat and taped over its shiny
    surfaces to make it less noticeable.) HCB sought invisibility - Gilden does not. I wouldn't differentiate between their work based
    on the respect they had towards their subject. HCB came to photography after a period of hunting and selling meat to locals,
    didn't he? I don't think he saw his photography very differently. :)

    For what it's worth, I'm very taken by those pictures of Bruce Gilden's.
     
  57. Here's one of the most famous of all American photographs:

    http://ivyparis.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/2007/07/24/weegee.jpg

    Would you prefer tha Weegee had never taken it?
     
  58. Ed, the photo you link to was taken at an opera gala, where the subjects expected -- even wanted! -- to be photographed.
    That differentiates it substantially from the photos of Gilden's that some people here object to.
     
  59. Yes, but the certainly are being demeaned in the picture.

    And what about THIS one:

    http://metamedia.stanford.edu/imagebin/Weegee-lovers.jpg

    Intrusive? I think so.
     
  60. Ed, as I see it, there are several separate issues here. One is whether the subject is being demeaned, another is
    whether the publication of the photo is an invasion of privacy, and a third is whether the photographer's behavior is
    objectionable in itself. I think it helps to recognize that these are different issues.

    Yes, some of Weegee's photos can be seen as demeaning, and the one of the teenagers making out in the movie
    theatre may be an invasion of their privacy, at least by modern standards. It raises difficult questions because they are
    in public but also in the dark, and just what a "reasonable expectation of privacy" may be under such circumstances is
    arguable. IIRC, the shot was taken with IR film and went unnoticed by the young lovers and the other moviegoers.

    What turns many here off about Gilden is his BEHAVIOR when photographing, rather than the nature of the photo or
    whether there is a technical invasion of a legal right to privacy. It is his behavior -- acting obnoxiously toward ordinary
    people, as seen in the video -- that differentiates him from Weegee.

    Gilden might be the nicest, warmest guy in the world under other circumstances, but in the video of him at "work," his
    behavior strikes many of us as obnoxioius.

    Take a moment to think about the thought experiment I posted above: if he engaged in the same behavior, but without
    taking photos, what would you think then?
     
  61. Jonathon..."Take a moment to think about the thought experiment I posted above: if he engaged in the same behavior, but without taking photos, what would you think then?"

    Sorry Jonathon, but 'experiments' like this are pointless. If you wish, we could discuss the merits of flashing someone in the face with a cameraless flash, but it's a pointless 'experiment' BECAUSE GILDEN DID HAVE A CAMERA.

    Let me put forth a thought experiment. Okay, so we pretty much all agree that the Iraq war was based on a totally wrong assumption of weapons of mass destruction. Thousands upon thousands dead, one country in physical ruin and another (the US) in financial ruin (partly due to war costs). Okay, here's the experiment....lets pretend there were weapons of mass destruction...it would all be worth it, wouldn't it?

    Anyone else see the ridiculousness of such 'thought experiments'.
     
  62. Three things about Bruce Gilden.

    #1 I like a lot of his work.
    #2 I wish my niddies were as big as his when it came to taking photos.
    #3 If he comes off as unlikeable for me it's his "I don't want to answer questions" statement and the "you don't own the street" stuff. Talented but arrogant.
     
  63. Got hang in here with the Fangster... Just because someone doesn't understand or appreciate Gilden's style or concerns, or doesn't like it, its pretty silly to then write-off many completely unique and discreet photographers with completely different points of view, shooting methods and photographic interests. One might learn a little about he background of an agency or a photographer so they could draw conclusions instead of leaping to them.
     
  64. The proof is in the pudding. I think Mr. Gilden has taken quite a few great photographs in his day. He is a street shooter and has captured life. I find it odd he should be critisized here so agressively. His photos are timeless. He might seem to be a pain in the ass to some of his subjects but that's his style. He brings home the bacon.
     
  65. i wonder if he ever set the flash off in an epileptics face, i'm sure that would give him a great photo rxn. If someone leapt out in front of me and took a photo of me like that while i'm walkin down the street minding my own business there'd be doctors lookin for parts of that flash gun where light is never supposed to shine.
    Do i like the look of some of his photos, sure, the guys got an eye for a photo and and if he was really talented he could do it without setting flash guns off in random peoples faces as they are going around town minding there own business, he doesn't even approach people after to ask if they minded, would they like to see their photo, is it ok for him to use their image? People have their own reasons for privacy-walkin to the store to buy a newspaper shouldn't make you "fair game".
    Obnoxious git that can take a decent photo, shame he doesn't have the ability/talent to do it with a bit of niceness
     
  66. It's always amusingly ironic to hear someone threaten (illegal) assault and battery against someone who does something (legal) that they don't like, while complaining that the person they'd attack lacks niceness or civility.
     
  67. delighted to give you a smile mike! Sure a threat is only a broken promise! And fair point, blind forums are no places for promises. Though my rebuttal would be that i didn't instigate it:)

    ...anyhow I think my main point should have been perhaps a bit clearer, if he was civil to his subjects, even if he only took 20seconds to explain what he's at or give them a contact card, i'd think fair enough, but he doesn't take that time, which is a shame as civility is most often reciprocated and people would only be to happy to let some well known photographer take their picture. And there is always that genuine, like it or not, risk, of catching that one poor sod who is ,literally, photo(light) sensitive-with a flash going off so close.

    I'd also add just because something is legal doesn't make it right
     
  68. Something I'm curious about. I'm a New Yorker. Born and raised there, and I'm firmly in the pro-Bruce camp.
    I'm wondering if this is a cultural thing. Is there a relationship between one's proximity to NY and one's
    approval of him?

    If you are a New Yorker, you'll know that having Gilden point his flash at you is not that much more distracting
    than any of the other loud noises, screaming people, flashing lights, and other distractions that one gets
    whenever you step into the street.

    So let's take a poll. Who here is from the Tri-State area? Who is from Europe or the South? And where do you
    stand?
     
  69. As someone who has actually been on the receiving end of such intrusive "street photography," as well as someone
    who takes photos (including self-portraits), I have to point out that many responses in defense of Mr. Gilder are
    speaking from behind the camera. Behind the camera, you are protected. You are not the subject. Your image is
    not being exposed for the world to see. You are not antagonized. You hide behind the legality of your action,
    while losing sight of the intrinsic humanity of the photographic medium. It is all too common, I think, for
    photographers to forget what it is like to be photographed. But ultimately, that is not the reason why I take
    issue with Gilder's work.

    The fundamental problem, as I see it, is not a disrespect for the subject. The disrespect is for what I call
    "the photographic moment," that fraction of a second when the shutter is released and the image is rendered by
    photons striking the recording medium. One must respect the inescapable truth that the image portrayed is but
    the tiniest slice of a continuum, ever-changing in time and space. When Harold Edgerton pioneered strobe
    photography, he took ultra-short exposures as a way of revealing the inherent truth of what was happening on
    timescales not normally experienced by humans. His choice of subject matter often involved common, everyday
    objects, because it was through seeing the extraordinary trapped within the ordinary that gave his images impact.
    His work does not disrespect the photographic moment, because he was revealing, not distorting, the underlying
    nature of what was being captured. By using strobes to freeze time, he simultaneously reminded us of its
    inexorable continuity. Gilder's photographs don't do that for me. Indeed, they feel...cheap (and I'm not
    talking about Leicas or gallery prices, neither of which have any bearing on the value of the image itself).

    It is one thing for a photographer to deliberately set up or manipulate his surroundings in order to evoke (and
    subsequently capture) a desired result. It is an entirely different matter to have such callous regard in doing
    so. When I walked down the street one day, I was quite literally chased by a group of photographers (presumably
    a class of students, led by their so-called teacher), and referred to only in passing--"see how he walks with his
    headphones in his ears," and "he might represent the image of mass media consumption," etc. I continued to walk
    briskly, ignoring them, and they followed me for about 30-50 meters, snapping happily away, never addressing me
    personally (for fear of "contaminating" the subject). Does anyone really care to defend this behavior as the
    modus operandi of a legitimate photographer? Disrespect for me, the subject, aside, does it really respect the
    art? I think not, because if you do legitimize it, then you must also validate tabloid photographers and
    pedophiles who use telezooms at the beach. You must also recognize the worth of every phone camera shot posted
    on MySpace. That is, you must validate every photograph and every photographer as equally deserving of being
    exhibited in the finest galleries in the world.

    For any given action, image, concept, or phenomenon, there is always at least one individual who finds artistic
    value in it. If you approve of Gilder's work, then so be it. You have your reasons and they are no more
    questionable than the reasons of those who disapprove. But what is so often overlooked is the idea that art is
    nearly always less about the work than it is about those who perceive it, and in particular, what their
    perceptions say about them.
     
  70. That is, you must validate every photograph and every photographer as equally deserving of being exhibited in the finest galleries in the world.
    Maybe I'm just a little slow on the uptake this evening, but I seem to be missing several steps of logic between "accepting the validity of Gilden's approach" and "accepting that every photograph is equally deserving of being exhibited in the finest galleries in the world." How does accepting the validity of a particular approach make every result of that approach (and every other possible method) a masterpiece?
     
  71. i wonder if he ever set the flash off in an epileptics face, i'm sure that would give him a great photo rxn.
    So much fail in this thread. Epilepsy? Wow. Photosensitive epilepsy is typically precipitated, in the few (less than 3% of all American epileptics) who are sensitive to it, by PATTERNS of flashing lights, typically video games and TV screens. Although I suppose it's theoretically possible for a red-eye reducing pre-flash pattern (from, say, a point-and-shoot) to induce a seizure in those so predisposed, I don't think there's been a single documented case of an actual occurrence. If you can point out a credible source (say, an article in a peer-reviewed medical journal) then I'll stand corrected. Until then, please don't spread misinformation, and do leave the med-speak to people who know what they're talking about.
    I think not, because if you do legitimize it, then you must also validate tabloid photographers and pedophiles who use telezooms at the beach.
    Your statements are such a complete failure of logic and common sense that I don't even know where to begin to rip you apart. I'll have to come back to it.
     
  72. Edward I'm a native N'easter having spent most of my time somewhere inbetween Boston and Providence, RI. Attitude wise those towns are near little extensions of NYC. I understand the East Coast mood which Bruce demonstrates well. A while back I probably wouldn't find his attitude so outrageous but after 2 1/2 years here in a much more polite Austin I can't say I miss the East Coast rudeness. I'll never forget getting lost in NYC. Rolled down the window and asked a guy how to get back to I95. He replies. "Hey buddy what do I look like an effin information booth"? nuf said.
     
  73. "Hey buddy what do I look like an effin information booth"?
    You got off easy...
    But seriously, I wonder how many of you complaining about this lack of respect and invasion of privacy would be back here tomorrow bragging if Bruce Gilden ever stuck a camera in your face and took your picture.
     
  74. @ el fang -Photic- and Pattern-induced Seizures: Expert Consensus of the Epilepsy Foundation of America Working Group...I'll take my burn on that and eat humble pie for that part of my statement:) Apparently 5 flashes in a strobe like pattern is the usual min trigger if photosensitive, learn something new every day:)
    Epilepsia. 2005 Sep;46(9):1423-5. if you want a peer reviewed backup to throw at the next person who makes my mistake!
     
  75. Ed, I'm a native New Yorker and current resident, too. I see a world of difference between what you call the city's
    distractions and Gilden's deliberate intrusions, just as I see a difference between someone who accidentally bumps into me
    and someone who deliberately jostles me.
     
  76. I'm sorry, but I can't see this as street photography. His technique is about as obnoxious as one can get. I'm not saying
    he's a jerk, but I am saying that he has the style of one.

    In my own professional opinion, street photography is one of the purest forms of photojournalism. "Street" photos should
    show as little influence from the photographer as humanly possible. Blasting a flash in people's faces from point-blank
    range is just foul.
     
  77. Stated by B. Gilden in the youtube vid.

    Interesting discussion here:

    Street has been traditionally defined as capturing a moment - the HCB method.
    Unlike trad street style, Gilden is actively participating in the image.

    His in-your-face technique, and barked commands to not smile, elicit reactions from the subjects - they are NOT
    captured during private moments in public spaces - they are literally caught, and as Gilden's images frequently
    show, as unflatteringly as possible, by Gilden creating the event as surely as any studio photographer does.

    He seems to be going for the sugar rush of shock value, which puts him more in the camp of fashion or art
    photographers, than trad street shooters.
    Gilden is the true subject in his images - the viewer's reaction to the images is partly or wholly formed by
    their awareness of, and reaction to, the off-camera behavior of the photographer. The subjects then, are merely
    props for Gilden's ego.

    He gets some great images, but comes across in the video as an obnoxious, and slightly eccentric misanthrope, who
    seems to view his fellow New Yorkers as objects to be manipulated, not as real people to be captured in a
    timeless moment.
     
  78. My comment about validation did not directly apply to Mr. Gilder. It was in reference to the experience I had. At least Gilder doesn't mob his subjects with an entourage of fellow photographers, and for that I suppose his subjects should be thankful. I was literally hounded by at least a dozen people flashing cameras away at me, and I'm about as unremarkable as anyone can imagine. The point is that when you accept that kind of behavior as part of the spectrum of photography, then where do you draw the line? If there are no boundaries--anything for the photo--then what does that say about us as human beings, and about the art?

    In what way is Gilder's approach to the subject substantively different than, say, that of a paparazzo working for TMZ? I would even go so far as to say the latter is more respectful of their subject, as they at least have no illusions of the aesthetic merit of their work. Taunting and startling your subject does not in itself make you an artist, nor does it make your photos art. It makes you a self-aggrandized psychopath with a camera. And at least the paparazzi don't pretend their work is anything more than what it is--a cheap shot, rather than cloaking it in the mantle of street photography.

    You don't have to defend or respect someone else's work just because other seemingly important people have done so. That is how we have so many famous but crappy photographers in this world, and just as many brilliant yet unrecognized ones--because of the groupthink of a self-professed elite that has crowned its own. Prominence in the art world is not about merit--it is about business and marketing.
     
  79. Interesting. Not a technique that I would recommend anywhere in the UK. If the local populace did not get to you first (you certainly would not need the Billingham to take your kit home) the Plod (police) would be down on you like a ton of bricks !
    Do not do street myself but I hear that if you so much as raise a camera in public these days especially near a civic building you will find yourself in trouble. Perhaps other UK forum members may care to elucidate.
     
  80. rowlett

    rowlett Moderator

    Here's another interesting if not elegant technique: Howard Stone, http://www.backfire.co.uk/
     
  81. Having met Bruce Gilden, though definitely not intimately, quite a few times over the past 10 years, he would eat up this thread
    since it's all about him. In fact he would register as defender and attacker just to keep the discussion going. As Madonna (I
    think) once said, "good publicity or bad publicity, it's all publicity"
     
  82. fyi, he has photographed in Haiti, a very dangerous country, and also done work on the Yakuza in Japan. Not folks you wanna mess with.
    What Orville says rings more true than anything else posted above, afaic...
     
  83. Gilden has balls. Hats off to him. He's done it enough times to know what sentences work best to shake potential trouble situations.

    That being said, I liked some of the shots but in the great scheme of things at least only in this video it looked like a hunt for freaks, quick shots with wideangle lens that are then sorted out on the light table and those that happen to accidentally work are kept.
     
  84. I like his work, and I admire his balls (something I could never do) and I suspect that there is an almost reasonable expectation in NYC that there will be photographers, film-makers, tightrope walkers etc wandering about in a very public environment. Hats off to him.

    From a technical standpoint, what sort of M body is he using (looks like an MP or an M4?) and what brand/make/model of flash does he have? It looks larger than the camera...
     
  85. As an aside, I also think it is interesting that in the video, he tends to target "certain" subjects - i.e. females and the elderly. At one point a large tough bald looking dude is in his filed of view and Gilden doesn't do anything....

    Whilst I accept he has taken images of some tough customers in the past, I suspect that those subjects may have had some inkling that he was going to photograph them (pure speculation on my part)
     
  86. jbm

    jbm

    Rui, fantastically stupid post. Really. Your post is among the least intelligent I've read in a long time.

    Gilden does come across as obnoxious and intrusive in that video...but to toss the other fine Magnum photographers out because you do not like Bruce Gilden's approach is just silly and stupid. Look at Michael Subotzky's photos from South Africa or anything Alex Majoli has done. They make articulate, compassionate photographs. And we have no idea how they make them, how they relate to their subject. That is part of the risk you take in appreciating photography, you have no idea how the person pulling the trigger relates to their subject.

    I've been a New Yorker for ten years...just making the transition to a different city. Gilden captures Gotham in all its glory and depravity better than almost any other photog, period. As a Manhattanite, I've been disturbed by much more than a flash going off in my face on a sidewalk. And if a blast of light happened to rock me out of my mental space, so be it. I am sure most resilient New Yorkers recovered from Gilden's flash before passing the next hot dog stand. I loved living in New York because I felt like I was part of the big show. If Gilden barks commands and blasts a flash of ow and then, that's the price we pay.

    I would never have the scrotal contents to photograph the way Gilden does, but we should all be thankful that he shoots the way he does.

    I don't know Bruce Gilden and can't pretend I would like him if I met him but his images, like most of the Magnum images, are great.

    Incidentally, Rui, YOUR images are great, and I do not care how you obtain them.

    There's room for all of us.

    Jay
     
  87. Edward, for your survey of where we're from... I grew up in a town in Arkansas. I spent a few years in art school in LA. I spent my 20-something winters in Arkansas and summers in NY. I had a few people reacting to me in NY, but believe me, growing up on the Ozarks with long hair in the late '60s teaches you a thing of two about being hassled. You learn to run or stand your ground. I'd talked myself out of plenty of fights before I started shooting pics in Manhattan. As for now, I live live in Wellington New Zealand, one of the friendliest places on the planet.
     
  88. Folks are unbelievably short sighted. They see a video on youtube and accept is as some sort of "truth". Remember this is edited and directed and that videos, like pictures, reflect the POV of their maker.....duhhh.....
     
  89. Gilden, Mr. Wang, Gilden. A gilder is craftsperson who covers things in gold and silver. If you're going to talk about "respect" then at least learn to spell somebody's name correctly.
    In what way is Gilder's approach to the subject substantively different than, say, that of a paparazzo working for TMZ? I would even go so far as to say the latter is more respectful of their subject, as they at least have no illusions of the aesthetic merit of their work. Taunting and startling your subject does not in itself make you an artist, nor does it make your photos art. It makes you a self-aggrandized psychopath with a camera. And at least the paparazzi don't pretend their work is anything more than what it is--a cheap shot, rather than cloaking it in the mantle of street photography.
    Apparently much of the rest of the world disagrees with you. Art: the process or product of deliberately and creatively arranging elements in a way that appeals to the senses or emotions, especially beauty. And this just in: LA gallery portrays paparazzi photos as art form.
    You don't have to defend or respect someone else's work just because other seemingly important people have done so. That is how we have so many famous but crappy photographers in this world, and just as many brilliant yet unrecognized ones--because of the groupthink of a self-professed elite that has crowned its own. Prominence in the art world is not about merit--it is about business and marketing.
    Who's defending? It's pretty short sighted, if not downright stupid, to disqualify anyone's work because of the way they happen to approach a subject. So you don't like something and don't consider it art from your own narrow point of view - fine. Most people have a broader view of art, and they don't subscribe to your tinfoil hat theory of art world mechanics.
     
  90. I think Gilden's approach is interesting. I'm sure he's learned to deal with the occasional bad reaction. If he didn't think it
    had been successful for him he wouldn't still be using it. Maybe it wouldn't work in other cultures, but he's not using it in
    other cultures; just in NYC. If it works for him there more power to him. As for flash blasting, I don't think there are any
    rules. You do what you need to to get the results, short of causing harm of course. And if he was causing harm he'd be the
    first to hear about it.
     
  91. My apologies for not getting the name right. I must have misread it. "Gilder" is also a legitimate surname, and yes, I know perfectly well who a gilder is. Sorry.

    As for what "art" is, I find it amusing you should parrot a dictionary definition of art, ignoring all the while that the definition itself has inherent vagaries that renders your response impotent. The most obvious problem is the subjectivity of art. Not everyone agrees on whether a given process or product has artistic merit. Therefore, the definition does not tell us anything about whether a given work is art or not, because it is up to the viewer to decide for themselves. It is not up to majority rule, nor is it the exclusive domain of art critics or art historians to decide for others what is or is not art. And while it may be rather quaint to see a group of LA paparazzi hold up their work as art, that is for the individual viewer to decide. I still hold to my claim that as a group, they do not view their work as art, at least not in the same sense that a fine art photographer views their work as art. Some, as you pointed out, do. But I think the vast majority of paparazzi view their work as getting the photo under any circumstances. It is a job, nothing more. Can a job produce aesthetically pleasing results? Can a job produce art? Of course.

    And that brings me to my final point, which is that I am not disqualifying the work of Mr. Gilden simply because of his methodology. I disqualify the photograph on the grounds that it is fundamentally dishonest, and lacks aesthetic value to me. However, and you might be surprised by this--I would say that if there is anything artistic about his work, it is NOT the photograph itself, but his actions that lead up to it. That is to say, the real art lies in how he skulks about and flashes unwitting people in the face. The photo is only the lifeless remnant of what is in fact performance art. A rather curious, provocative, offensive, and non-consensual form of performance art, but art nonetheless. The photos, however, are utterly meaningless. I would even go so far as to say that Mr. Gilden himself would agree with my assessment.

    There are photographers right on this forum that take far, far more interesting pictures, in my opinion. And you have no right to tell me otherwise. You can call me whatever you want and disagree with me all you want, but you have no right to dispute my judgment. I recognize that his work may be valid and interesting to others. But I have provided my reasons for believing otherwise.
     
  92. peter, please show me a 'fundamentally honest' photograph.
     
  93. [​IMG]
    ps - another peter
     
  94. As for what "art" is, I find it amusing you should parrot a dictionary definition of art, ignoring all the while that the definition itself has inherent vagaries that renders your response impotent. The most obvious problem is the subjectivity of art. Not everyone agrees on whether a given process or product has artistic merit.
    All well and good, but if you agree that art is subjective, then why are you expending so much energy trying to convince me or anyone else what is art and what isn't?
    Therefore, the definition does not tell us anything about whether a given work is art or not, because it is up to the viewer to decide for themselves.
    And there are many viewers have no problems deciding for themselves that Bruce Gilden's work is art. Your point is?
    It is not up to majority rule, nor is it the exclusive domain of art critics or art historians to decide for others what is or is not art. And while it may be rather quaint to see a group of LA paparazzi hold up their work as art, that is for the individual viewer to decide.
    Well yes, it is up to the individual (and I am an individual) to decide. So you decide it's not art, and someone else says it is. Why are you trying so hard to convince people that it's not?
    I still hold to my claim that as a group, they do not view their work as art, at least not in the same sense that a fine art photographer views their work as art.
    Have you read their minds? How do you know that they don't view their work as art?
    However, and you might be surprised by this--I would say that if there is anything artistic about his work, it is NOT the photograph itself, but his actions that lead up to it. That is to say, the real art lies in how he skulks about and flashes unwitting people in the face. The photo is only the lifeless remnant of what is in fact performance art. A rather curious, provocative, offensive, and non-consensual form of performance art, but art nonetheless. The photos, however, are utterly meaningless. I would even go so far as to say that Mr. Gilden himself would agree with my assessment.
    I've read many stupid things on this forum but this masterpiece just about takes the cake.
    There are photographers right on this forum that take far, far more interesting pictures, in my opinion. And you have no right to tell me otherwise. You can call me whatever you want and disagree with me all you want, but you have no right to dispute my judgment. I recognize that his work may be valid and interesting to others. But I have provided my reasons for believing otherwise.
    I'm not disagreeing with you, because you can simply say it's not art and that's your own judgment and prerogative. It's just that the reasons you give for your stance are hypocritical and much of what you say (including your claims that you can read people's minds) is just downright delusional. I'd seek professional help if I were you.
     
  95. Sorry El Fang,

    But for once, I disagree with you...

    Magnum used to be a Press Agency. A press photography is deemed to convey information if it conveys it with art, it is a valuable bonus, not the main object of the job.

    I will simply forget any objections on the use of a flashgun for the moment. But as I see Mr. Gilde's pics in this video, they are for me totally void of any kind of information, because they don't convey anything on the ordinary NY citizens in their ordinary life (kind of ethnological work...) or anything about a specific event.

    Technically speaking, they are objectively very poor and what I cannot describe but as a cheap trick to make this pics look "different" or "unusual" which consists in framing the subjects in a deliberately non-academic way (I have nothing against taking pictures a non-academic way if it enhances the meaning or the aesthetic qualities of the work) in a totally meaningless way has been seen thousands of times since the late 60's, and is for me just a way to make pseudo-amateurs of art (with a comfortable bank balance) speak at length about the "freudian message" conveyed by these horrors as exposed by the greedy and astute seller of the next Art Gallery and - even more important - sign the big check to own these "precious art works"...

    The author himself (Gilden) even confirms the fact he was ever looking for the uncommon, unusual behaviors when he complains about the similarity of dressing of people nowadays when compared to an earlier period...

    This might have been a good "ethnological" subject when the way a lot of people dressed was so individual and peculiar. But on the contrary, the ethnological fact of today is just the opposite. So, the true information which is to be conveyed is just this "uniformity"... As a Press photographer, this is just what you HAVE to convey to the general public...

    Now the flash problem...

    Someone referred to Weegee's work... The very nature of his work was entirely different from what is generally described as street photography. Weegee's work was to record dramatic events which, though may be common place in a large city - are no part of the life of ordinary people in their ordinary occupation. So, to a large extent, the use of an "invasive" (a word I prefer to the word aggressive) technique was legitimate... The event was more important than the people. In classic street photography, what is conveying true information is the depiction of the ordinary life in the street, so the subject should act naturally in his (her) natural environment. If the photographer which should remain a "passive witness" as much as he can be, brutally intrudes - for example using a flashgun and gesticulating in front of the subject - he or she alters the behavior of the subject(s) in such way what he (or she) actually records on the film is ever the same subject : how people react to the intrusion of a photographer with a flashgun gesticulating in front of them ! ... What is the interest of the multiplication of this experience "ad-libitum" ?

    Mr. Gilden can do that as long as he pleases, some people can see this as "art"(or be fooled enough by fashion to see that as art), this isn't the problem... But he cannot pretend to be a press photographer and I consider he has no place in a Press Agency.

    FPW
     
  96. And that attitude FWP is exactly why you would never be asked to join Magnum.

    One of the attributes Magnum seem to celebrate is their diversity.
     
  97. Bob,

    Diversity doesn't mean acceptation of trash... and pseudo-artistic scams.

    FPW
     
  98. Perhaps they'll reconsider; given you have such open mind...
     
  99. i don't know you FPW, so i will not assume anything, but gilden is a respected photographer with a body of work appreciated by a lot...myself included. you don't come off too well when you call it trash.

    cheers
     
  100. Sp

    Sorry not to passively buy as something artistic anything trashy looking or unusual because this has become fashionable from the late 60's on...

    Sorry to consider press photography as a part of a chain destined to inform people

    In fact sorry to retain just a small part of logic and critical spirit in a world everything is specially constructed to make people believe anything as they are told, provided it is fashionable and part of the sovereign rule of PC...

    For me to be open minded is to have no *PRE*-conceived opinion, not to abdicate your right to judge something after having seen, studied or used something.

    The appreciation of an artistic talent (or absence of... for all intent and purpose) is highly subjective. However, seeing the pics of Gilden are poorly exposed, barely in focus and deliberately poorly framed without any perceivable reason to make the P.C. men (s'cuse me "persons") of today believe they are the work of an "artist" and excuse a total lack of technical skills (or any effort to use them) is no rocket science or the effect of an exacerbated lack of open mind, as these are objective elements.

    So is the fact these pics don't represent anything valuable in terms of informations on the subject(s), events or mood of our time (except perhaps what extent of misinterpretation we have reached in the concept of freedom in Art) ... All the essential things which differentiate a press photography from another kind of photography.

    Gilden's behavior and artistic pretensions make me think of the world famous painter Salvador Dali... The man was odious, infatuated and sometimes even clown-like... But there is a fundamental difference between Salvador Dali and Gilden : the former was really exceptionally talented ! ... As a side note, I must confess I don't like Dali's paintings very much, but I'm open minded enough to recognize his talent as real, even if the result is not to my personal and subjective liking.

    Now, I like most of what Picasso did and particularly his "Toros y Torreros" series... I have seen the preparatory work for them (which are as figurative and realistic as one can do and make you see the level of the Master in classical drawing) and how he simplified the extremely complete and complex preparatory drawings to retain only the essential lines and the movements ! ... This series is artistry to the highest and noblest degree... Picasso demonstrated a capability of expressing with a few lines and few colors all the aspect of his subject, this is a true example of dominating a technique to the point it is no more directly apparent in the final result but it is indeed present... But from the preparatory work, you can actually see the path he took to produce a masterpiece. You can trace back the reason for every line, every color.

    Where can you see such an effort in the haphazard framing, exposure and lighting from Gilden's work ? They just make me think of the first pictures my son took at 4 the very first time I give him a camera in his hands.

    Once again, I'm not a censor, Mr. Gilden is obviously entitled to take pictures as he pleases and as long as he wants... But I'm too entitled to judge him as a very poor or lazy photographer producing trash and trying (apparently successfully) to fool other people on the ground everything is to be accepted when it is called "art" (even by the author himself !).

    FPW
     
  101. Matt,

    You are entirely entitled to have your personal opinion on Mr. Gilden's work, but the argument a committee of generally self appointed so-called art specialists recognized his work as valuable is something I personally decline as a valid argument.

    I have time and again seen the small world surrounding the artistic world as a journalist (though in France and not in the US) to know what kind of persons gravitate in this swamp where you are more likely to encounter greedy merchants akin to alligators than the few true artists to entertain any illusion about the real value of their opinions. In fact, someone is more likely to be crowned by the title "artist" because what he (she) does is fashionable (which by the way is a sure sign of being a follower more than an innovator) and consequently has a high selling potential than through his (her) actual artistic talent, gift or imagination...

    I prefer to refer to my own opinion and scale value, as far as the subjective part which is to determine if something is a piece of art or not.

    But what is sensitive in the case of Gilden, is there are many objective signs of his lack of technical skills (or desire to use them)... This is this aspect I consider as trash. And when I see someone pretending to be an artist photographer who seems unable to produce anything but technical trash, I have a very objective reason to consider he or she might well be one of the pseudo-artists (and real "artistic crooks") who so well serve the greed of art gallery merchants with the only benefit to profit from their leftovers just like this bird I don't remember the name which picks its food from the alligators' jaws.

    Now, I have too much respect for the profession of press photographer to admit someone who never conveys any valuable information in his work as a Press Photographer... And under this argument I fully second Rui Lebreiro on the ground Magnum has gone from a Press Agency to the role of an artistic agent for self-appointed "art photographers".

    FPW
     
  102. FWP "I prefer to refer to my own opinion and scale value, as far as the subjective part which is to determine if something is a piece of art or not"

    Oh my god...we have a boney fidee photeygraphic expurt here.

    You are full of yourself aren't you?
     
  103. Bob,

    Chill out man. At least Francois took the effort to explain his viewpoint, rather strongly perhaps, but hence all the
    more clearer. You just accused him of being full of himself. And who isn't who cares passionately about
    photography? (Or any scientific or artistic endeavor for that matter?) I usually refrain from comments about
    photography I don't like (but for some reason have no such inhibition over bad movies -- take IRREVERSIBLE, for
    example) because it is a singular person behind the camera taking the picture. I think what Francois fundamentally
    argues for what is more of an absolute standard (and please feel free to correct me Francois) not so driven by the
    fickle trends of society. I didn't mind the video near as much as many of the commentators (I guess I am just a
    voyeur) but can appreciate the articulation of those that may have issues with it.

    I should mention that I met the accused a few years ago in the streets of New York and he is a really nice guy, so
    maybe I have a different perspective. I don't likeit when he hates people smiling and yes, the effect of his
    photography is a little bit like stage lighting from below (faces look scary since the lighting is so unnatural). In a
    way, his approach is a bit abusive but so are the photographers been in the latest US presidential campaign. Its not
    really justified, but you often face the opposite extreme in Europe.

    Francois should have just said: "I know art when I see it." Anyhow, se leve.

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  104. "It's art."<p>"No it's not."<p>"Yes it is. You don't know your nose from your elbow."<p>"Trash I say, trash! And such a vile
    human being. He'd throw his mother under the bus for a picture."<p>"He's a New Yorker for goodness sake, this isn't
    Kansas we're talking about. If little old ladies want peace they should live in Kansas. Or Nebraska."<p>"Papparazzzmo.
    National Enquirer stuff. Gritty black and white with flash. Whoopdeedoo. That takes talent?"<p>"It takes what you aint
    got. But that stuff about NYC being more dangerous than Haiti... I gotta admit. That was a load." <p>"I'm tellin' you the
    guy is a fraud."<p>"Whatever you say Mac."
     
  105. shooter
    I respect people that are into getting a shot enough to get into people's faces. For all of his invasive abrasiveness - the gimmick kinda wears thin after a while - in terms of actual image quality ( my opinion)
    Its ok for fans of so called NY 'style' to dig the dude though. For sure down here he couldnt do it - unless he was being followed by a video team - and even then..I doubt he wouldn't get a smack in the chops. Even the link guy ( above) would find it harder - although he has a looser style.
    heh - I enjoyed watching him use a Hasselblad h series in street - so much for it has to be a Leica to be unobtrusive -:)
     
  106. Magnum used to be a Press Agency. A press photography is deemed to convey information if it conveys it with art, it is a valuable bonus, not the main object of the job.
    USED to be. That's the operative word, isn't it - USED. If you think today's Magnum is still just a "press agency" then you're way behind the times. Magnum started bringing in members who weren't "press" in the strict or traditional sense of the word more than 20 years ago, starting with guys like Gueorgui Pinkhassov and Martin Parr (whom Cartier-Bresson described in 1988 as being "from a different solar system"), and continuing to this day with new members like Alec Soth and Alessandra Sanguinetti.
    Mr. Gilden can do that as long as he pleases, some people can see this as "art"(or be fooled enough by fashion to see that as art), this isn't the problem... But he cannot pretend to be a press photographer and I consider he has no place in a Press Agency.
    Again - I don't think he or Magnum photographers like him are, or are trying to be, press photographers. Agence France-Press is a press agency. EPA is a press agency. Reuters is a press agency. Photographers from press agencies produce pictures that are little more than an object enclosed in a rectangle, that can be understood at a glance by Joe Blow taking 2 minutes to browse A1 over his morning coffee.
    If you try to approach the work of photographers like Gilden, Parr, Pinkhassov and Sanguinetti using the same mindset with which you look at the front page picture of a newspaper, then you will be disappointed.
     
  107. And under this argument I fully second Rui Lebreiro on the ground Magnum has gone from a Press Agency to the role of an artistic agent for self-appointed "art photographers".
    Again, please gets your facts straight - Magnum was never founded to be a "press agency." The sole reason for its original being was to protect the copyright interests of its members, giving them sole ownership of their images and allowing them to license said images to multiple clients and publications, a practice almost unheard of back in those days and pioneered by the original Magnum founders. This whole idea of Magnum being a "press agency" came about coincidentally because most clients back then tended to be newspapers and magazines. This was before photography came to be generally accepted as an art form, so galleries and museums were scarce on the short list of clients.
    I find your lack of knowledge and calling of these people "self appointed art photographers" to be both ignorant and offensive.
     
  108. This is the last message I will post on this matter because this thread was retarded from the get-go and I'd rather go back to laughing at M8 owners. From Magnum's own history page:
    These four formed Magnum to allow them and the fine photographers who would follow the ability to work outside the formulas of magazine journalism. The agency, initially based in Paris and New York and more recently adding offices in London and Tokyo, departed from conventional practice in two fairly radical ways. It was founded as a co-operative in which the staff, including co-founders Maria Eisner and Rita Vandivert, would support rather than direct the photographers. Copyright would be held by the authors of the imagery, not by the magazines that published the work. This meant that a photographer could decide to cover a famine somewhere, publish the pictures in "Life" magazine, and the agency could then sell the photographs to magazines in other countries, such as Paris Match and Picture Post, giving the photographers the means to work on projects that particularly inspired them even without an assignment.
    That's it. Nothing about being a press agency, or making "fundamentally honest" photographs, or "the horror of using flash," or any other BS concepts some of you guys pulled out from your behinds.
     
  109. This thread reveals the fundamental truth that about aesthetics there really is no argument or "degustibus non
    disputandem est."
     
  110. Sorry Stephen, but all I was doing was expressing my viewpoint...strongly.

    Yup, I have a problem when someone tries to tell anyone how their narrowminded viewpoint is the right one and should be recognized by all.

    Even if it is well worded and strongly emphasized.

    As the saying goes (more or less)...you can dress it up all you want, it's still a pig.

    There's lot's of photographers work out their I don't care for...but far greater men than me have disagreed with my opinion...each to his own...it sort of is what makes the world an interesting place.
     
  111. El Fang,

    For your perfect information, if the situation you describe regarding copyright laws is valid for the USA, it isn't under French law... The author of a photography under French law is the only legitimate owner of the copyright for the duration of his life and for 50 years if he (she) is deceased this ownership is transferred to his (her) heirs.

    Under French law, the intellectual rights on a creation are protected even if the material is sold to another owner unless the author deliberately decides otherwise.

    Magnum founders, who were for a part French or influenced by the French practice decided to impose this view as a protection for the photographers.

    Nevertheless, most if not all Magnum founders were linked to press photography... The 20 years old "innovation" you are referring to is as far as I'm concerned a regrettable concession to our times, and mainly a financial operation far removed form the original spirit of Magnum.

    Magnum shares of market in the press world steadily declined when the founders slowly disappeared and as the magazines and newspapers became less and less interested in "humanist" photography and war correspondent work.

    In France, a photographer working for say, Sigma, is still the copyright owner of all his (her) photos but if these images (or better said the rights to publish these images) are sold to a paper 60% of the rights go to the agency (as a remuneration of their service) and 40% to the photographer (and these rights are considered a salary under French law if you are a photo-journalist, even a free lance).

    Beside, there are different rules applicable when you work for a press organ (either an agency or a paper) :

    If the job is the result of an assignment from the press organ, this agency or paper is obliged to take all the expenses and pay for the work done, published or unpublished... If you (or a photographic agency) sells a photography which is accepted, only the rights has to be paid excluding all charges even if it remains unpublished. If the paper wants to publish the photo with an exclusivity (which muust be limited in time by contract) it has to pay a premium. When the publication is effective, you're still the copyright owner and can re-sale this picture if the opportunity to proceed so exists. If this photography is published again by the same paper, this paper has to pay the publication rights again as you stay the only legitimate copyright owner unless you transfer these rights on a voluntary base and even if the picture is the result of an assignment from that paper.

    These rules were applicable in France since 1944, so to say, at least for the French founders of Magnum, the copyright protection was certainly not the main reason to associate...

    The fact is, for quite a number of years after Magnum was founded, there was a "Magnum style" which was never defined by a uniformity of photographic style but by a certain "idea" or philosophy of the image and its use.

    Some may prefer the new magnum orientation, some like Rui or me can legitimately believe this is not a positive evolution and express their views accordingly.

    I'm sorry to repeat once again a few things which I thought were easy to understand : I don't consider a valuable excuse to use the word "Art" to justify technical laziness or incompetence. I don't consider trying to search for a new artistic way of expression a valid reason for doing anything and trying AFTERWARDS to explain your inability to produce anything but pictures obviously botched by who knows what pseudo-intellectual (and generally "psychological") justification ...

    Photography, as an art, was the main leverage for a complete revolution in painting, as the "subjective realism" of the painter was no more required and was far better expressed by photography. This generated two new forms of painting : the abstract way and new ways - which can be qualified as "surrealistic" - to render the subjectivity of the painter on his representation of a subject (cubism for example).

    During the 20's and the 30's, some photographers tried hard to transfer surrealism in photography... This was a legitimate test. Practically speaking, this ended simply into a new way to use the light as a mean to create shapes and artwork but in so doing their authors became less and less photographers and more and more "photographists" ... So if this trend was a new and legitimate trend for graphic arts, it is obviously a dead end for photography as I (and numerous persons) see photography. Another trend was toward photographic abstraction. In fact these abstractions were simply the result of a particular framing or magnification (macro-photography was a main source to these abstractions too). In fact, these attempts were in a way nearer to photography as they were the images of a certain reality. As far as photography is concerned, they were still photographies as opposed to "photographisms"...

    But, both kinds of approach were sustained by people visibly mastering the photographic technique. Their intentions were obvious, even if the result was strange or even shocking by classic standards.

    The 50's (at least in Europe) were marked by a certain decline of these trends as humanist photography took the main place... I suppose mankind after the bloody World War 2 was in search of some humanity...

    This figurative (but nonetheless subjective) approach was probably the golden age of photography, just because both the figurative approach was at the same time (and IMHO still is) the best possible enhancement for a photographic art which took its roots in the search for the reproduction of a certain expression of reality as perceived by a human eye.

    Meantime, surrealism was living its end as a leading spearhead in art in the painting world and more generally as a dominant artistic philosophy.

    During the 60's a large void began to appear in the artistic world... Artists were in search of something new and had visible difficulties to find it, but for the musicians. At the end of this decade, the habit came to "impose" to the public the researches of the artists as finished creations (mostly for the failure of many to reach a true new way)... This was the beginning of "artistic scams" as with no point of reference and everything having to be considered as "Art" (unless you were qualified as a reactionary) every kind of trash could be (must be) considered as art... Remember the "happenings" ???

    May be, in another context, from this mess should have emerged remarkable things in the end. Unfortunately, merchants and marketers were there and for them $$$$$$ was the King and they just oriented the things to a "new market of arts". A new highly profitable market which was based on the credulity (or the greed) of totally incompetent rich would be amateurs (it was fashionable at this time to pass for an art amateur) or "investors" in art. And to satisfy the demand, these merchants with the help of the marketers developed the pseudo-intellectual and pseudo-freudian language to convince the rich suckers to buy... about anything and, anything also meant they needed a lot of "artists" to produce the necessary volume.

    Few, very few, artists, let alone artistic movements born during these years will survive and most have already passed away as fast the fashion (also in the hand of the same people) evolved and the faster it evolved the better were the financial results for constant renewal...

    It is so easy, El Fang, to say, "you despise this form of art because you don't understand it" to justify anything... Simply forgetting to demonstrate there is at least something to understand ! ... An image particularly should speak for itself. If an image, hence a photo, needs more than a few line of caption to explain where when and who (if necessary at all) to be understood (even in a subjective way) it's nothing but trash.

    You may be more intelligent than I am, so just explain me the reason behind framing somebody with the right leg kicking the air in such way only his right side is contained in the picture which, in turn is even not respecting the horizontal placement ? Except the fact a bunch of merchants has decreed this is "art" because it has been shot by Mr. Gilden at the very same time any person learning photography and producing such a result will be told to learn how to properly frame a picture next time ? And tell me - except for the exceptionally slow synch speed of an M camera - why some pictures produce a double image of a person which is not particularly moving fast so no intention to indicate a movement can be discerned ?

    Mr. Gilden can be the finest and gentle person on earth, this doesn't qualify him as a good photographer nor as an artist. Any of us can do exactly what he does with an M and a flashgun... Anybody cannot do what HCB, Doisneau, and many others did. Thanks to sheer luck or friends being the right people in the right place Mr. Gilden has been chosen by the small clique of art merchants which are leading the art market as an artist and it is their endowment which makes him member of the happy fews. Another advantage is his work can do no harm or trouble the established order. On the contrary to the work of the humanist photographers of the 1950's who, as simple witnesses of a reality which was more than often a kind of mute denunciation of the condition of life of ordinary people and moreover a kind of denunciation legible by anybody, were potential trouble makers...

    Yes, El Fang, real art is more than often subversive by nature, something the poor tricks of fashionable pseudo-artists never are.

    FPW

     
  112. Okay, I'll bite FWP...though I'll say it in a lot fewer words.

    Again...you're saying you know more than, say the National Endowments for the Arts?. From which Gilden has won awards, amongst many others.

    Yes...No?

    If you say Yes...well you loose all credibility here. Really...all credibility.

    If you say No...well than you contradict your own argument.

    So which is it FWP...I can't wait for the answer.
     
  113. Making the argument that artist X or Y is favoured by Institution A or B and is therefore imbued with some kind of intrinsic greater worth - is like being naive enough to trust Moody's so called AAA ratings on so called sub-prime loans.<p> Its ok for you to be happy with the 'greater powers' that be - since you believe that they have some kind of infallible knowledge and insight - but that doesn't mean that everyone sees the world in your way. <p> Some peopel are naive and uneducated enough to say - the emporer has no clothes..
     
  114. Its difficult to reason with a didact, but if someone declares somone's work unartistic and unworthy of Magnum, so be it. Everyone will survive the mistake. Just don't forget, that no one gets full membership into Magnum unless they are voted in by the membership. I suppose we can all be confused about ourselves, and certainly Magnum is not immune to that, but I think they have a right to define what their own photography is, don't they?
     
  115. so just explain me the reason behind framing somebody with the right leg kicking the air in such way only his right side is contained in the picture which, in turn is even not respecting the horizontal placement ? Except the fact a bunch of merchants has decreed this is "art" because it has been shot by Mr. Gilden at the very same time any person learning photography and producing such a result will be told to learn how to properly frame a picture next time ?
    I guess if it violates the "rules" taught in Photography 101, it can't possibly be art.
     
  116. Bob,

    No disrespect, and your previous point above (in response to my comment) is well taken -- but let me spare FWP
    and just say that because the NEA endorses something, it doesn't mean its art (using your same logic actually).
    Maybe lots of stuff that the NEA endorses I wouldn't consider art (I don't know because I haven't seen it). All
    credibility now lost?

    Anyhow, again, as I said earlier, I do not find Gilden's work nearly so offensive as others do here (and in reasonable
    doses, actually somewhat interesting). But FWP's comments regarding some of the RECENT "modern" art scene I
    think are telling and generally informative.

    FWP's argument goes back to Plato's "The Cave." FWP is arguing for an "absolute" standard of photography and
    your're (perhaps) arguing for a "relative" one. Remember most people in the cave thought, for example, that a cow
    sounded like a horse and only those that could escape could see otherwise (and that the same animal always made
    the same sound). Lots of "experts" in the dark debated otherwise... FWP is not arguing, as is common trap in this
    type of debate, that he is to be the absolute arbritrater of what is photography, but that there are absolute standards
    that one can apply (you can debate what they are). Certainly, FWP has pointed out a few of the potential guidelines
    for such standards (composition for one).

    I wish that you would have been to the latest Freize ("Modern") Art Fair in London a few weeks back (maybe FWP
    spend too much time there!). I think you would have more sympathy for our "un-pithy" Frenchman's views.
    Afterwards, I felt like going to my garage, grabbing an old tyre, sticking three toilet plungers on it (equally spaced, of
    course, hey whatta think -- I'm stupid or sumpin?), spray painting it yellow and heading back to the exhibition to try
    and sell it (propped under the appropriate gallery's name, of course). Oh, except, somebody already did that (and I
    don't have a garage in London). Okay, maybe better yet, I'll take a gigantic picture of a bunch of people looking at
    the yellow-painted toilet-plunger tyre and blow it up on the wall (because it'll help guide others to see the unique and
    intrinsic nature of the yellow painted toilet-plunger tyre). This actually my original idea (whadda think?). Anyhow,
    don't worry, this yellow-painted toilet-plunger tyre is a great investment -- costing over £10,000, because its so-and-
    so's yellow-painted toilet-plunger tyre -- and they'll even deliver it which is nice since I don't own a car and wouldn't
    want to be seen in the tube (or anywhere else) with that thing!

    As Kenneth Clarke explained in "Civilization," the one thing left behind by any society that they cannot lie about is
    their Art. Just think about how true that statement really is...

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  117. Mike Dixon:

    >> I guess if it violates the "rules" taught in Photography 101, it can't possibly be art. <<

    He who dosen't want to understand something is difficult to debate with...

    The problem is not violating "rule 101" but WHY did he violate "rule 101".

    My feeling is he violates rules only because in our time (like very well described by Steve) it suffices to violate rules to be qualified as an artist, not because he wanted to express ANYTHING... So the violation of rules is Art by definition...

    Sorry not to agree with this way to see the things... and to consider such behavior as an "artistic scam"...

    FPW
     
  118. Bob :

    >> Okay, I'll bite FWP...though I'll say it in a lot fewer words.

    Again...you're saying you know more than, say the National Endowments for the Arts?. From which Gilden has won awards, amongst many others.

    Yes...No?

    If you say Yes...well you loose all credibility here. Really...all credibility.

    If you say No...well than you contradict your own argument.

    So which is it FWP...I can't wait for the answer. <<

    Who are those persons who judge this or that author should be considered as an artist ?

    Gallery owners, "artists" being originally recognized as such by other gallery owners ? And on what criteria ?

    I think there is an international "art mafia" which have confiscated the monopoly of telling what is art and what is not art. This mafia is leaded by MERCHANTS who don't give a d..m in art and are just governed by profit.

    Wake-up ! this is a MARKET like anything else these days.

    The target of this market is rich fondlers, mostly totally uneducated in arts (or for that matter anything else than stock exchange subtleties), just the contrary of the "mécènes" who lead the art market at least from the Renaissance to the post WW-2 period and were rich too but educated and real amateurs of art. These people want to maintain the illusion they are interested in art, up to date in their mind and "in" (the fashion)... These people will swallow any pseudo-intellectual argument to justify anything to be art, including the yellow toilet plunger mentioned by Steve ! And for the merchants, this is an unfathomable source of profit... It is far easier to find people who are ready to paint yellow a toilet plunger and play the role of "The Artist" in this comedy than to find a new Michelangelo or even a new Cartier-Bresson and they are far more numerous... That's all.

    I prefer to refer to the old saying I heard time and again from most of the (true) artists I had the chance to approach, interview and sometimes photograph : "Art is 10% inspiration and 90% sweat"

    Whatever is the way an artist choses to express himself, whatever the style or the genre, behind him there is an expert craftsman who is gifted of this impossible to describe with words "plus" which makes all the difference between an artisan and an artist. Perhaps, in this impossible to describe "plus" there is the capability to violate rules and invent new ones which is the trade mark of creation, but the result itself should show clearly the intentions of the artist behind this violation of rules...

    I don't consider me as an expert, let alone an arbiter... I clearly indicated the fact I don't like Mr. Gilden's photos doesn't interfere in my judgment. For example I don't like Debussy's music but I won't say he was not an artist for that reason. I just say there are OBJECTIVE reasons why I don't consider Mr. Gilden's work as something interesting, let alone a piece of art. The equation is simple : he IS NOT a good craftsman so he cannot be an artist. He violates all the rules not to tell us something but because it is fashionable and profitable these days without any other reason you can find from SEEING his images and he has a totally lazy way to take pictures. If there is sweat in his work it is the one generated by his gesticulations, certainly not by searching the best approach and even less : caring about the minimum technical standard in photography.

    I'm not a worshiper of the golden number in composition, there can be many reasons to ignore this rule but with Gilden it is clear on many pictures that the next step is simply not to include the subject in the picture !

    And at this stage, Bob, you, like the other defenders of Gilden, have been unable to give me any PERSONAL reason why this man framed these pics this way (I mean YOUR interpretation, not the ones eventually suggested by self appointed experts). Nor you can explain the reason why he used an M with a slow synch speed which leads to double images of a subject obviously moving slowly if moving at all.

    Not a single one of his defenders has been able to counter my argument about the fact he is in fact tackling the SAME subject with all his pictures : the reaction of passers-by to a gesticulating operator flashing them by surprise. And not a single one has been able to comment on the fact his approach and his results are well within the reach of 5 year old using a Brownie Starlet and a flashgun (without being told to look in the finder).

    Sorry but this kind of "artist" is for me just like a balloon inflated with a bottle of gas by the balloon seller (i.e; : the Art merchants). Puncture it and you will end with a few useless remnants of the envelope. There is no substance in these pictures which will have ended in the dustbin of any serious photographic schools with this comment : "Perhaps you should envisage a reconversion to plumbing or as a clown in a circus..."

    I maintain, only our era has permitted people like him to pretend to be an artist... Even the worst "pompier" style painter of the 19th century, who was never a true artist, is more gifted and at least is a passable craftsman, something Gilden is obviously even not.

    FPW
     
  119. FPW,
    you keep referring to some poorly framed picture of a man with his leg cutoff. i think you are viewing the pictures he took in that short span of time in the video, and judging gilden's entire body of work by those few images possibly?

    to answer why the leg was cut off-while i am not familiar with the image you are talking about, i can guess that it was not done on purpose. gilden's shooting style is very fast, and sometimes horizons will not be perfect, and legs/arms will be chopped off. his images are not just 'startled' faces in the streets as you suggest.

    for an experiment, go to this link please:

    http://www.magnumphotos.com/Archive/C.aspx?VP=XSpecific_MAG.PhotographerDetail_VPage&l1=0&pid=2K7O3R1482X4&nm=Bruce%20Gilden

    the following are the images that struck me as interesting:

    1,4,5,8,12,21,22,25,30,33,35,37,40,48,49

    what do you think? do any of them strike you as interesting? his style is unlike many other 'street photographers' and maybe that is what i find refreshing about his 'non artist-educated' style.
     
  120. Stephen, I agree with you completely.

    What I have against some posts here (and I'll not pick on FWP this time...I totally appreciate the commitment he has to his beliefs) is the thinking that because "I don't like it, so it's not art".

    I seem to recall that art is subjective. I know what I like, I know what I don't like. Nothing Warhol did excites me...in my opinion Campbell did their soup cans first and better. But all that really says about me is that I don't understand what he was trying to accomplish.

    Some here (okay, FWP) can 'word it up' all they want...it is still just their opinion, and trying to convince me how wrong I am by going on and on incessantly does absolutely nothing to change my opinion.
     
  121. Not a single one of his defenders has been able to counter my argument about the fact he is in fact tackling the SAME subject with all his pictures : the reaction of passers-by to a gesticulating operator flashing them by surprise.
    Have you even looked at a selection of Gilden's work? His gallery on the Magnum website.
     
  122. I now see that Matt posted the same link while I took a break during the composition of my post.

    Here's another link to his work on the Magnum blog: http://blog.magnumphotos.com/2008/02/it_should_be_a_dream.html
     
  123. Here's another view of Gilden's current work:

    http://insight.magnumphotos.com/essay/foreclosures
     
  124. When someone commit a mistake it is all too normal he admits it...

    I admit the very poor selection included in the original video was in no way conducive to an objective appreciation of the work of Mr. Gilden.

    Indeed Matt's link was on this point far more convincing I was unjustly charging Mr. Gilden than any theoretical statement about my alleged lack of open mind... My excuse to all my contradictors... and Mr. Gilden. A lot of the pictures from Magnum selection are very good and marked with a lot cynical humor I can't help to appreciate...

    However, I maintain that even within this selection some pictures should have been eliminated at the editing stage, for lack of minimum *TECHNICAL* standard.

    Anyone having tried the difficult practice of street photography knows a certain proportion of shots will be substandard on this side (more than often the ones which - if successfully exposed, framed and focused - would have been the most interesting, Murphy's law I think). That's part of the game. And there is no dishonor (IMHO) to eliminate them without the slightest self-indulgence.

    To answer Matt more precisely about the cut man, it is not just an arm and a leg which is missing but all the left of the individual, with a lot of empty space the other side of the frame... Yes Matt, shooting like an assault rifle may sometimes produce such a view... The problem is it wasn't eliminated at the editing stage.

    May I add as a final word I think if I were Mr. Gilden, I would have asked for the removal of this video from the net... The selection of pîctures is awful and doesn't reflect the work of the photographer.

    FPW
     
  125. Hmmm, I agree with Francois about the convenience of removing the video from the net... It was my first thought after
    looking at it. It has somekind of "fun objective" but result in disagreement with the method (the original topic of this
    thread) and doesn`t make justice with the --astounding-- rest of Gilden`s work...

    All artists, even the most recognized ones have good and bad work. Salvador Dalì is the finest example of this idea:
    his very best work doesn`t justify all the huge ammount of silly things signed by him... where the only "value" is that,
    the signature (I must say I`m an unconditional devotee of Dalì).
     
  126. gilden's work might be considered better or worse, but w/ such an attitude towards people, no thanks!

    one only fells the need to remove the video of a shooting action if using a method like this

    if not, check out james natchey. His video is so famous, everybody has seen it. And people get delighted not only w/ the fantastic photos he captures but also HOW he does it, w/ such an amazing respect for people, for their sorrow, for their loss. So much respect that one get's amazed how people let him be so close the the action (and such deep emotion action) and keep shooting.

    ... maybe gilden could learn something from it.
     
  127. Funny... we must have something in common... a Natchwey`s image (the one with the three childs behind a tree when a helycopter takes ground in El Salvador) has been my computer`s desk image for a long time...
     
  128. So Rui...you're in effect saying that everyone should photograph to a limited subject matter/style seeming determined by you.

    Sorry...not a world I'd want to live in.

    You really should read Animal Farm/1984.
     
  129. Bob,

    You are making your own assumptions. I didn't say that.

    As I said before, when photographing people, respecting them is a matter of principles, not of "style".

    Now, if someone thinks it's "cooool" to do what gilden does (which IMO is disrespecting people)... ok, different principles from mine. I respect it... just don't agree with it.
     
  130. Explicit or not, there seems to be two questions involved in most responses:
    1. Is Gilden's working style shown in the video disrepectful?
    and if the answer to the first question is affirmative,
    2. Do the end results justify the means?
    I expect that the answers to these questions are sufficiently subjective that agreement is unlikely.
     
  131. Rui: "Now, if someone thinks it's "cooool" to do what gilden does (which IMO is disrespecting people)... ok, different principles from mine. I respect it... just don't agree with it".. I can agree with that.

    "... maybe gilden could learn something from it"...why should he?

    That's my point.
     
  132. "... maybe gilden could learn something from it"...why should he? we can always improve ;)
     
  133. I personally don't find his actions rude and there was no evidence that any of the people he took a photo of thought
    so either.

    <P>
    And the point you seem to miss Rui, is that your standards for acceptable behavior are not universal.
     
  134. but i accept my standarts are not universal
    but please accept i can have my own standards

    in the beginning i've said "am i an "old traditional guy" (a 35 years old one) or some of you share my thoughts?"
    so you can see i was already supposing some might agree w/ me, others wouldn't
     
  135. You accept that your standards are not universal? Do I really need to go back and point out where you've attributed your standards to HCB, Magnum, and all of Europe?
     
  136. I never said "Europe" thinks like me. I said here in Europe, namely in Latin Europe, he risks getting beaten, and
    that's true. Also someone mentioned other places.
    I get the idea the exception here might be NY people, who seem to be, how should i say, more "permissive"?!

    I never said HCB has my standards.
    However everyone knows his photos, his videos, and his quotes...
    And the following quote couldn't aply better to Gilden's work:
    "Avoid making a commotion, just as you wouldn’t stir up the water before fishing. Don’t use a flash out of
    respect for the natural lighting, even when there isn’t any. If these rules aren’t followed, the photographer
    becomes unbearably obstrusive."

    anyway, you think what you want.
    i think what i want
    we all live happy, and take many pictures :)
     
  137. "I never said "Europe" thinks like me."
    Well here is what you wrote:
    "...people in latin european countries (spain, portugal, italy) are very friendly, open, sincere, trustfull...And being like that, so trustfull, of course also would fell offended in behaviours like those of Bruce Gilden."
    Seems pretty straight forward to me.
     
  138. Rui...you do seem to be 'changing' what are saying (or thinking) as the thread evolves.

    Really, there isn't much point in pursuing this any further, is there?
     
  139. Bob,

    I didn't change a think. I think what I've said time and time again. Sorry if i perhaps was not so concise in
    some cases.

    In fact you are right, there's nothing more to say: some of you share my initial thoughts, others don't, which is
    pretty natural.

    By the way, just let me tell you I've received several emails of people who shared my opinion but didn't want to
    post here, apparently due to having the idea of unconsequente and "too warm" discussion going on.
    I don't have that idea: everyone placed their thoughts, some more "warm" than others, the important is respecting
    different opinions.

    Again, i respect Gilden, and everyone who apparently love his work and even support his "style".
    I just don't like it.
     
  140. there was no evidence that any of the people he took a photo of thought so either"

    He seems to be careful in choosing whose face he's going to fire his flash at. For the most part they all look old
    and/or non violent.
     
  141. "He seems to be careful in choosing whose face he's going to fire his flash at."
    Yes.
    "For the most part they all look old and/or non violent."
    "interesting"
     
  142. He seems to be careful in choosing whose face he's going to fire his flash at. For the most part they all look old and/or non violent. Hum, after all he's aware ;)))
     
  143. "interesting"

    Firing a flash in the face of an old woman and frightening her. It does not even cross his mind that he may permanently damage her eyesight. If somebody calls this "interesting" I call him a cynical coward
     
  144. "...permanently damage her eyesight."
    Please, now you just sound silly.
     
  145. 'frightening her' - she didn't look frightened to me. you guys live in a world of pillows and cotton candy or what??
     
  146. He is a disrespectful intruder, and that is being kind to the perpetrator. He is acting like a paparazzo towards private individuals; in many parts of the world, he may end up sustaining some serious physical damage. Is this New York? I thought that was a tough place..
     
  147. These rules were applicable in France since 1944, so to say, at least for the French founders of Magnum, the copyright protection was certainly not the main reason to associate...
    So are you saying that Magnum is telling a lie in its own history page? If you want to throw such an accusation, don't veil or sugarcoat it. Just say it right out. Also, you seem to forget that there are things called contracts that can modify or even invalidate rights granted under law, as long as both parties are in agreement and said agreement does not itself violate any laws.
    Nevertheless, most if not all Magnum founders were linked to press photography
    Like I said, only because press was the main avenue for photography back in those days.
    The 20 years old "innovation" you are referring to is as far as I'm concerned a regrettable concession to our times, and mainly a financial operation far removed form the original spirit of Magnum.
    So you'd rather have a dead Magnum as a victim of its "original spirit" than one that survives by changing with the times? This sounds a LOT to me like the die-hard Leica fans who wish that Leica would ignore digital completely and just stay with the film market, because somehow digital isn't in the "original spirit" of Leica. How do you feel about the fact that many Magnum photographers do advertising and corporate photography on the side? Is selling coffee in order to fund personal work also "far removed from the original spirit of Magnum"?
     
  148. Douglas asked us :

    >> 1. Is Gilden's working style shown in the video disrepectful?
    and if the answer to the first question is affirmative,

    2. Do the end results justify the means? <<

    To question 1 I'll answer YES but only to a certain extent... Seeing what the video doesn't show in its awfully poor selection of Gilden's work in terms of results, one can have a better understanding of Gilden's vision of the human being : where most street photographers show a certain kindness toward our species, Gllden's photos show a deliberate expression of the worst side of it and he goes toward caricature instead. Gilden's vision IS disrespectful toward the human being in general... But should we reject any forms of caricature under the rule of P.C. ?? He has a very cynical view of people and his approach seems to be in accordance with this general disrespect...

    From this point on, we are forced to resort to each of us subjective appreciation of this work...

    Either we feel these - undoubtedly successful - caricatures a useful exercise or not...

    They made me laugh (I mean the ones on Magnum site) but do they bring something in understanding our species, our world ?

    I don't think so, mainly because they are critics of individuals with no particular responsibilities on governing this world and they are at best only partially responsible for their physical disgrace...

    This leads me to your second question, and, obviously, in this particular case I tend to answer no... THIS end doesn't justify the mean...

    There are - IMHO - certain circumstances where the event, the situation, covered by a photographer justify to pass over the respect of the image of the subject and even its dignity (like in Weegee's work for example), or when the individual, even caricatured, is not in fact the actual target, but his (her) behavior. So he or she becomes an"example" more than individual. And, finally, there are public peoples like politicians, stars... who - deliberately exposing themselves to the limelights and being the incarnation of the ideas, the image or the decision they take, doesn't deserve any respect during their public appearances. And for these categories of people, I think the photographer has a right to act as the "public eye" and get the picture by any (legal) means.

    Obviously, there are limits too, even with personalities : these limits used to be fixed in France by the courts in a fairly balanced way : the protection of the private life was insured in all cases and for any individual, but "Joe Smith" (or better said in this case Jean Dupont) could not forbid a street photographer to shoot him in public places freely as he (she) has no "public image" to defend. But some restrictions were applied when personalities were the subjects : even in public places, the courts considered as long as these personalities were not in their public role, they had the right to an additional protection and their authorization was required for publication.

    Unfortunately, P.C. fashion became so pregnant that today a "Joe Smith" can claim his self-image has been degraded by the publication of his photo even if he was portrayed in a public place... And IMHO, this is a gross infringement to the right to inform and the notion of public place. Because for me "Joe Smith" has a right to protect his private life, but when in public places he is just an anonymous between thousands of others and has no "public image" to defend. So the new attitudes of the courts are also a factor of disappearance of the street photography as a genre here and obviously a new Cartier-Bresson or a Doisneau will have a lot of difficulties to emerge today...

    In the end, YES photographers need to adhere to an ethic but this ethic should not be conducive to censorship or self censoring their right to shoot. a compromise must be devised between the eventual subjects and the photographers which protects the right of both and the right of the public to an uncensored information.

    To each of us to determine if Gilden's work can fit into this compromise.

    FPW
     
  149. El Fang :

    >> So are you saying that Magnum is telling a lie in its own history page? If you want to throw such an accusation, don't veil or sugarcoat it. Just say it right out. Also, you seem to forget that there are things called contracts that can modify or even invalidate rights granted under law, as long as both parties are in agreement and said agreement does not itself violate any laws. <<

    No, that the legitimate preoccupation about copyrights were concerning only PART of Magnum founders...

    Now, as many Americans, you seem to consider YOUR U.S. LAWS are applicable in every part of the world, which is FALSE...

    Under French law any agreement or part of an agreement which violates or contradict a general disposition of the law (called a public order disposition in French legal terms) IS VOID BY NATURE, even with the consent of both parties.

    In the precise case you are referring to, unless the contract specifically specifies the copyrights are transferred to the buyers, the general disposition applies. So, the French law authorizes this transfer, and this transfer is not considered a violation of "public order disposition of the law", but the will of the original owner should be EXPRESS and is NEVER IMPLICIT.

    It is fairly unusual for a French (and most European) photographers to transfer the copyrights to the buyer of their photos, they only cease a right to use them and this is a remarkable protection for them.

    Today, Press groups and some agencies are trying to modify this state of affairs and align the copyright law to the one prevailing in the US... They are meeting a considerable and almost unanimous resistance from all authors (photographers, but also writers alike).

    One of the preoccupations not explicitly emphasized in Magnum story on the Net is the desire of their founders (from whatever country they originated) to dispose of the means to be freed from the press groups and the then mostly big telegraphic agencies pressure on the kind of subjects they can cover and the way they should be able to cover them. Seeing the then dominant political side the Magnum founders came from, it is clear this had a major importance in their desire to associate and share facilities each of them were unable to afford individually.

    This side of the story may be embarrassing nowadays as Magnum is no more mainly directed toward Press work and most probably no more as clearly politically oriented as it used to be in the founder's era.

    Now, the reasons for the existence of a structure, whatever this structure is, is primarily to operate as a tool. Magnum, as a tool for Press photographers to express themselves by the choice of subjects and the way they treat this subjects while maintaining a high standard of quality IS DEAD.

    This is not a technical question like the Leica M8 vs other cameras. This is a political and economical question which is not influenced by available technology...

    Either you agree with the present state of affairs, where for example after being simply barred from exerting their profession (Grenada, first Gulf War) war correspondents are now "embedded" by force and strictly under control for fear they reveal the truth about what is going on today in Iraq and Afghanistan like they did in Vietnam and the fact most papers are more interested in paparazzi work than any serious subjects (moreover if these subjects are critics of the way the world is going and may hurt and make the general public "something is rotten in the kingdom of Denmark") and you consider this evolution is positive (which means you don't care about the existence of a free Press) or you realize the fact Magnum has changed its target to become a commercial affair like any other one is a disaster in itself and the surviving of the name has become a mockery which simply reveals the present state of the Press in our world.

    I don't agree with this present state of affairs, I don't think Magnum is responsible of this state of affairs, but I consider rather sad, they evolved to become ghosts of what they used to be to survive commercially instead of fighting to a last stand, their flag still proudly weaving in the defense of their original principles and a true free Press.

    I quit the Press work when I realized I had either to cover subjects I considered trash or was no more able to earn a living as being alone to raise my son, I couldn't accept war assignments anymore, these being the last resort to cover really serious matters (it is even worse today).

    Today's Press is no more governed by the will of its readers, it is entirely governed by those who advertised through it, advertisement having become the main source of profit for Press groups. Anything considered damaging for the advertisers is consequently banned. Do you really think if "Life" was still published and had as a main advertiser - say Halliburton - they will publish an documented article demonstrating the implication of this company in the starting and the continuation of the war in Iraq ? Do you really think the accomplices of present financial disaster who also are generally big advertisers (and sometimes owners) of the main Papers will allow to publish a photographic report on the social consequences of this failure, while the text documents the responsibilities of them in this situation (a pretty good original Magnum subject it seems to me) ?

    This is Hearst group and "Citizen Kane" everywhere ! ... Not a free press. Magnum accepted to survive this evolution by evolving into other spheres, I don't consider this attitude reflects the courage and dedication which were the trade mark of its founders... For me, Magnum is already dead and only the name survives today.

    You are entirely free to disagree, but I'll stand with my position.

    FPW
     
  150. "This is Hearst group and 'Citizen Kane' everywhere!..."

    Yeah, FPW, I hate the dominant liberal press too... The amount of extremely biased coverage regarding the US
    Presidential election being a prime example. I'm an eighteenth century Liberal myself which means something much
    different than a Modern Liberal; but either way it would be nice to have a more balanced press (its far too dedicated
    to PC causes -- maybe thats because many of the reporters themselves happen to be much more to the left than
    their customer base -- where's that dominant marketplace when you need it?).

    By the way, I fear Bob has left this discussion (I think I need his help right now), so before you decide now that the
    camera (or yourself behind one) is the great arbitrator of truth, you'd should think hard about this thought when
    somebody else is behind the lens -- there is nothing as deceiving as a camera or a photographer on a crusade.
    There was an extremely gifted, famous German photographer who staged incredibly powerful images near the
    begining of WWII. Were her pictures the "truth?" Unfortunately, many were fooled into thinking so.

    Bruce Gilden, as you can see elsewhere in his work, is undoubtedly more liberal than myself (the great majority of
    artists are; we can discuss why in some other forum). Yet, in defending both his work -- and your concerns
    regarding it -- I never brought my own political and economic beliefs to bear. I admired some of his work (although
    frankly I do have similar issues as Philip Partridge does above) and yet also was sympathetic to your notion that
    there may be absolute standard to art (like photography) but that such standards were clearly open to debate.

    If you really want to see a seminal work on the role of art and media in modern society ala the Hearst Group and
    Citizen Kane, might I suggest the Fountainhead? (the movie version, that is).

    Cheers,

    Steve
     
  151. Well said Stephen.

    As the saying goes pictures don't lie but people lie with pictures. The tradition of that "great German photographer" is alive and well today.I've seen enough pictures in our "market controlled media", from 2 world regions I know well, that were one sided and made to fit the political views of today's "anti-market" Liberals. It is known for a fact that some of these pictures were staged.
     
  152. Today, Press groups and some agencies are trying to modify this state of affairs and align the copyright law to the one prevailing in the US . . .
    It appears you have no idea what current US copyright law is. You've attempted to refute El Fang's claims by restating, in slightly different words, exactly what he said.
    Magnum has changed its target to become a commercial affair like any other one
    Have you visited any exhibits of recent work by Magnum photographers? Examined much of their current work? If anything, because of the changes in mainstream media, Magnum is currently much less commercial than it was in its earlier days.
     
  153. Gilden would last maybe 10 minutes in Australia with that style of shooting - before someone took his head off. Only pansy boys with puckered PC lips and limp wristed view of how the world works - cant see what a dreadful dreadful man he must be poking flashes into people's faces like that.
     
  154. Hey cut me some slack, I've worn a pair of Blundstones pretty much every day of my life for the last ten years.*
    <BR>
    <BR>
    <BR>
    <BR>
    <BR>
    <BR>
    <BR>
    <BR>
    <BR>
    <BR>
    <BR>
    <BR>
    <BR>
    * F@CT!
     
  155. Gilden would last maybe 10 minutes in Australia with that style of shooting"

    He's too clever, cynical, and cowardly to do it in Australia
     
  156. i'm sure if he was in downtown sydney, he'd be fine practicing his method...
     
  157. Yeah, based on Australia’s greatest contributions to art, culture and footwear, i.e. Air supply, Paul Hogan, and boots, they don't seem to be such a nasty lot.
     
  158. heheh- good enuff for you pete
     
  159. Say what you want about him, I hope someone's told him he's the subject of the longest post on the lpf for many a long day...and who cares what he does or how he does it, you can't tell a man how to do his art- you certainly can't tell me, or many of you for that matter, right? Whether it's sh*t on a stick, or gloriously elegant photographic contact-printed 8x10's of ice formations, it's pretty much non-negotiable. What's a punch between Graces?
     
  160. Right you are Tom -:)
     
  161. i am not entirely sure he cares tom. most folks who have reached a pinnacle such as gilden understand the difference
    between "i don't like" and "it's crap".

    i am sure magnum could pass on fella's like gilden. you know focus on the classic pen, leatherbound notebook
    adventurer type. put out a coffee table book on m2/3's and cups of latte lamenting the good old days of robert and henri.

    i am thankful that the members of magnum have had the presence of mind to take risks with new members, push the
    boundaries of what we think about photography. i love the work of parr, gilden, majoli, anderson etc etc. if magnum had
    chosen to rest on the laurels of the past then indeed one could question it's relevance today.
     
  162. Well put Jon!
     
  163. well, compare gilden w/ majoli and others... please

    let's face it, who pays magnum these days?! i cannot figure who could be their clients

    if you want real photo journalism you certainly won't call magnum. If you want artistic photo, you certainly
    won't call magnum.
    Then who?

    I pretty much think magnum is kind of leica

    they both have the name and the glory of old days, and live in that shadow
    for now that's enough to keep breathing but in both cases, and unless serious changes are made, i don't know for
    how long
     
  164. have you been living under a rock? their work is all over the place!?!? check out the magnum sight... take a cruise through the awards
    members of the agency are winning?!? i mean really, i can understand folks not liking the work and such but i think you're a bit off base
    there.
     
  165. pick up a couple of national geographic mags and see who's paying magnum members these days
     
  166. not gilden's work i suppose
     
  167. "let's face it, who pays magnum these days?! i cannot figure who could be their clients"

    well, national geographic to start.
     
  168. SELECTED AWARDS

    Artist's Fellowship Award, New York Foundation for the Arts, 2000
    Artist's Fellowship Award, The Japan Foundation, Tokyo, Japan, 1999
    European Publishers Award for Photography, 1996
    Grand Prize, International Triennial Exhibition of Photography, Fribourg, Switzerland, 1985
    National Endowment for the Arts Photographer's Fellowship, 1980

    SELECTED PERMANENT COLLECTIONS

    Museum of Modern Art, New York
    Victoria and Albert Museum, London
    Bibliothéque National, Paris
    Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan
    Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA

    SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

    'After The Off', Gallery of Photography, Dublin, Ireland, 2000
    The Royal Photographic Society, Bath, UK, 1997
    Leica Gallery, New York, 1997
    Musee de l'Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland, 1993
    Bibliothéque Nationale, Paris, 1989
    some small tidbits of gildens cred

    SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

    'New York Now', Museum of The City of New York, New York, 2000
    'Magnum: Our Turning World', Barbican Art Gallery, London, and touring, 1999
    'Who's Looking At The Family?', Barbican Art Gallery, London, 1994
    'Mean Streets: American Photographs from the Collection', Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1991
    Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK, 1988
     
  169. "not gilden's work i suppose"
    You really can't be bothered with facts can you Rui?
    From Gilden's Bio on Magnum:
    Awards
    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
    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
    Books
    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
     
  170. i researched 5 magnum photographers. between 5 of the "new breed" they held 21 major press photo awards since 2001.
    pelegrin has won world press photo honors NUMEROUS times.

    i reckon these fella's are getting jobs
     
  171. gilden might have all the major awards in the world,
    if he behaves w/ people like we see in the video, I say "no, thanks"
     
  172. i wasn't addressing gildens behavior... it was your "who hires magnum these days" business.

    you're allowed to say "no thanks". you're even allowed to "not like it". but the fact is magnum is a working collective with
    some of most professionally recognized photojournalists in the business.
     
  173. "recognized" ?! risky word

    jon, your favourite photographer belongs to magnum?
    any of your 3-top favourite photographers belong to magnum?
     
  174. yup... some of my favorites are magnum members. anderson, koudelka, towell, majoli etc etc.

    by "recognized" i mean 5 photographers, 21 major press awards in less than 8 years. that equals recognized for me.
     
  175. "Gilden would last maybe 10 minutes in Australia with that style of shooting - before someone took his head off."

    In Brisbane about a year ago, I was photographing an historical building from across the street and from about 30 meters away (with a Leica!), and two drunk a**hole Australian blokes called me over to chew me out for "taking their picture." They were sitting at an outdoor bar table at a cafe on the ground floor of the building (along with lots of other cafe patrons). Tried to convince me I was breaking the law, invading their privacy, threatened to smash my camera, etc. And of course didn't have the guts to follow through on any of their threats. Give me New Yorkers any day!
     
  176. rui, stop digging yourself deeper and deeper...you come off as un-informed, and not willing to put forth any effort into research.
     
  177. jbm

    jbm

    Check out www.magnuminmotion.com and take a look at Gilden's piece on foreclosures. It is tasteful and his approach to his subject different than that seen during the youtube clip in question.

    This has been a pretty deep rabbit hole we've all fallen down...no?

    Cheers,

    Jay
     
  178. matt,
    i have strong principles
    and the ends might not justify the means (in gilden's case, even the ends are worthless IMO)

    and trust me, about magnum photographers, it's not only gilden (but let's not "dig deeper" as you say)

    when people behave like superstars and stop respecting people... they loose everything
    maybe that's when it starts the need to "impose", to get the shoot
     
  179. gilden is not behaving like superstar in the latest piece... foreclosure. as a matter o fact he comes off quite genuine and
    compassionate. but i suppose you mind is made up hey?

    your first line is telling indeed. for a man who has won 3 national endowments for the arts the ends seems quite worthy.
    as a matter of fact, judging by his cv a few other important folks find his "ends" rather worthy. so what we are focusing
    on is of course ones "opinion" in the face of a lot of other "opinions".

    i would like to "trust you" about magnums current crop but i'm a little confused... you seem quite out of touch with what's
    going on in the magnum world, press world and modern currents in photography. sooo... what's to "trust"? care to share
    your insight?
     
  180. Whether Gilden is a "superstar" or not, whether he has received numerous awards or not, is all irrelevant. Even superstars strike out
    occasionally and each piece of work should be judged on its own merits.
     
  181. Doug, no one would argue that point but the discussion wandered all over the place and regardless of whether or not you like his work or style of shooting there are some accusations that are simply inconsistent with the facts.
     
  182. WELL Rui
    I beleive Bruce Gilden to be a legend! The fact that you think he has no social morals makes him even more of a legend to me! His style and technique is sheer art and unique to him - he is appart of Magnum beacuse he is truly amazing!
    Every photographer should be different from the next. Cartier-Bresson and Weegee are also legends but in their own way- if Gilden was excatly the same he would not be unique, and what would art be?
    You can not say there are rules for an artist - and expiermenting with different flashes and cameras is how you create refreshing images - not copycat sun sets and photoshoped lakes.
    I do not think you are a ''traditional guy'' , and I am sorry to say that I think that you just maybe extremley narrow minded. Im sorry if I offend you!
    Also I think if Bruce Gilden shoved a camera in my face I would be flatterd - but thats not the point.
    He shoots as if it were a painless drive by with out the horrid after effects, you hardly know hes been there and even if you do see him you dont know where hes shooting!
    Maybe you should let it go and start appreciating fine art when you see it!
    Lara :)
     
  183. don't get me wrong: even if I prefer a traditional photography myself, i admire and respect every kind of photography, BUT some principles are basic to me, and one of which is respect for people one photographs. Hell, look at Natchey... he does it wonderfully (and in much more difficult situations).
    yes, gilden is trully a legend, a legend to always remind us that the essencial of photographing people is really the people, not the outcome. As i wrote before, cartier-bresson himself couldn't have said it better when he mentioned the photographer becoming "unbearably obstrusive".
    about magnum photographers these days... i prefer not to go that way. Let us all live happy and take many photos :)
     

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