Alec Soth's Archived Blog

March 3, 2007

Bruce Davidson

Filed under: artists — alecsothblog @ 5:56 pm

“I don’t consider myself a documentary photographer – documentary photographer suggests you just stand back, that you’re not in the picture, you’re just recording. I am in the picture, believe me. I am in the picture but I am not the picture” Bruce Davidson

016davidson-e100th
© Bruce Davidson

Articles on Davidson here and here. Listen to Davidson talk about his subway pictures here.

11 Comments

  1. maybe more than any other well-known photographer, his projects seem aided by the passage of time – they age extremely well (except those hacky celebrity portraits).

    Comment by john k. — March 3, 2007 @ 7:22 pm

  2. i absorb brucedavidson’s VISION

    Comment by stargazer — March 4, 2007 @ 3:06 am

  3. BD is A+++. I received the following misdirected email (it’s a long story) a couple of weeks ago. Maybe Bruce Davidson will read. Shows some of the power of his work to reach out.

    hello bruce
    WERE BIG FANS OF YOURS, WE WERE GRAFFITI WRITTERS WHO ARE UP IN YOUR BOOK…..I
    just got a hold of one of your photos which diddnt make your book subways ,,its
    a black and white photo ..its a inside shot of a santa cluas sleeping on a rr
    flat next to a clean cut white kid ,hair parted, i took A TAG IN 1984
    ..krooklyn ,on top a BT TAG,,DOES THE PICTURE APPEAR IN COLOR?I WOULD LIKE TO
    HAVE IT ..IM PROUD IM IN ONE OF YOUR PHOTOS…ALSO MY 2 BUDIES ARE UP IN YOUR
    FAMOUS PHOTO OF THE GUARDIAN ANGLES ON THE DOOR SES AND SOR,,,,COMMING
    DOWN…..
    THANKS FOR YOUR TIME….
    SAL

    Comment by (for) Sal — March 4, 2007 @ 3:08 pm

  4. i bet he has a lot of interesting relationships with former ‘subjects’, as SAL’s message shows

    Comment by john k. — March 4, 2007 @ 10:44 pm

  5. Always been a fan of his work and recently I’ve been trying to track down a documentary made on Davidson about 1968/9 on East 100th St, think it may have been Omnibus in the UK. Tried the BFI and various others but no luck.
    Does anyone know where I could get a hold of it?

    Great Blog Alec!

    Comment by Tadhg — March 5, 2007 @ 5:25 am

  6. Davidson has always had the ability to portray the everyday as extraordinary in true Zen like manner. He doesn’t need a war or news event to make visually arresting photographs- a park, a tenement, a
    subway will do.

    Comment by Stan Banos — March 5, 2007 @ 11:12 am

  7. “Davidson has always had the ability to portray the everyday as extraordinary”

    i tend to think that his work describes not the everyday but the extraordinary – the civil rights movement, 1960’s East Harlem, the new york subway at the height of graffiti and crime, not to mention his celebrity portraits.

    Comment by john k. — March 5, 2007 @ 11:33 am

  8. An NY Times piece (since disappeared behind the gray lady’s pay-per-view, this link is to a copy) I remembered from 2003, interviewed on the occasion of the republishing of e100th street. “At the time we were sending rockets to the moon, I felt the need to photograph inner space.” Cool. I’d never made that late 60s link.

    Comment by rob — March 5, 2007 @ 12:39 pm

  9. that dued is a dingaling. But I liek his pictors

    Comment by Baron Von Perriwinkle — March 5, 2007 @ 11:59 pm

  10. Bruce Davidson,
    I simply love your pictures. I pay a special attention for those shots in Brooklyn on lonely guys. I´m trying take some pictures about people and I agree with you: “we are in the picture but we aren´t the picture”. By the way, we aren´t invisible, the ghosts are in another place.
    I am reporter for brazilian tv, but my personal passion is the image still, that one endures in our minds forever.

    Comment by Bianca — May 24, 2007 @ 4:31 pm

  11. An exhibition is about to open at The Jewish Museum in NYC: Isaac Bashevis Singer and the Lower East Side: Photographs by Bruce Davidson. This exhibition features 40 moving photographs of Lower East Side residents and also some of the Nobel Prize winning author Isaac Bashevis Singer mostly taken in the 1970s and 1990s. A humorous and surreal 1972 film, Isaac Singer’s Nightmare and Mrs. Pupko’s Beard, that Davidson and Singer (they were neighbors) collaborated on will also be included in the exhibition.

    Comment by Anne Scher — September 7, 2007 @ 6:15 pm


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