A documentary artist in the tradition of street photographers such as Weegee, Bruce Gilden has a sharp eye for idiosyncracy. Unlike many other street photographers, Gilden often used his flash to make his subject aware that they were being photographed and draw them closer to his lens, much in the way that theater lighting draws the audience nearer to the actors on a stage. The resulting intimacy is rare of images largely set in urban locations and public spaces.
Before launching his photographic career, Gilden studied sociology and so was keenly aware of how environments serve to define people. An expressive realist, the Magnum photographer conveys the nuances of each milieu with exquisite integrity. Gilden's locations range from Coney Island to Haiti to the restricted worlds of Ireland's horse trading and the yakuza, the families of Japan's criminal underworld.