BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933)

BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933)
Bruce Davidson remains one of the world's great photographers. A member of the prestigious Magnum Photos agency since 1958, he took inspiration from his friend and mentor, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and went on to redefine the genre of photojournalism with his singular style and methods. He is perhaps best known for his photo-essays documenting subversive and counter culture groups.
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GIRL WITH KITTEN, LONDON, 1960 by BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

GIRL WITH KITTEN, LONDON, 1960

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CHILD WITH PRAM, FROM 'WELSH MINERS', 1965 by BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CHILD WITH PRAM, FROM 'WELSH MINERS', 1965

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TWO NANNIES PULLING BUGGIES, FROM 'ENGLAND/SCOTLAND', 1966 by BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

TWO NANNIES PULLING BUGGIES, FROM 'ENGLAND/SCOTLAND', 1966

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ENGLAND, 1960
 by BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

ENGLAND, 1960

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COUPLE DANCING BY A JUKE BOX, EAST 100TH STREET, NEW YORK CITY, 1966-68 by BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

COUPLE DANCING BY A JUKE BOX, EAST 100TH STREET, NEW YORK CITY, 1966-68

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FACADE (FROM EAST 100TH STREET), 1966-68 by BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

FACADE (FROM EAST 100TH STREET), 1966-68

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YOUNG MAN AND COCA-COLA MACHINE, 1959 by BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

YOUNG MAN AND COCA-COLA MACHINE, 1959

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COUPLE NECKING IN THE BACKSEAT, AFTER A DAY IN THE COUNTRY, NEW YORK, 1959 by BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

COUPLE NECKING IN THE BACKSEAT, AFTER A DAY IN THE COUNTRY, NEW YORK, 1959

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SHIRTLESS YOUTH LIGHTING UP CIGARETTE, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, 1959 by BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

SHIRTLESS YOUTH LIGHTING UP CIGARETTE, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, 1959

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JUNIOR SMOKING CIGARETTE ON SUBWAY, BROOKLYN, 1959 by BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

JUNIOR SMOKING CIGARETTE ON SUBWAY, BROOKLYN, 1959

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JIMMY ARMSTRONG WITH THE CLYDE BEATTY CIRCUS, PALISADES, NEW JERSEY, 1958 by BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

JIMMY ARMSTRONG WITH THE CLYDE BEATTY CIRCUS, PALISADES, NEW JERSEY, 1958

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CATHY FIXING HER HAIR IN CIGARETTE MACHINE MIRROR WITH ARTY AT THE OCEAN 
TIDE BATHS AND BAR, CONEY ISLAND, 1959  by BRUCE DAVIDSON (Born 1933) - photograph for sale from Beetles & Huxley

CATHY FIXING HER HAIR IN CIGARETTE MACHINE MIRROR WITH ARTY AT THE OCEAN TIDE BATHS AND BAR, CONEY ISLAND, 1959

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Early Life

Davidson was born in 1933 in Illinois, he was interested in photography from an early age. At age 10, his mother built him a darkroom in their basement. Davidson went on to attend the Rochester Institute of Technology and Yale University, where one of his teachers was artist Josef Albers. For his college thesis, Davidson created a photo essay that was published in Life in 1955, documenting football players behind the scenes of the game. After graduating, he was drafted into the army and was stationed near Paris, France. It was there that he met his lifelong mentor, Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Photographic Career

When he left military service in 1957, Davidson worked as a freelance photographer for Life magazine. Davidson, unlike other photographers before him, embedded himself in the world of his subjects for extended periods, he even joined a circus in 1958 in order to get the right pictures, the results of which formed themselves into series of powerful photo-essays. "Brooklyn Gang", "East 100th Street" and "Subway" are perhaps his most famous, and are the results of months living with both a gang of youths on Coney Island, and the inhabitants of a run-down tenement block in Harlem, New York. Through a combination of familiarity and his own visual poetry, Davidson brought these, and other subjects, to life in the many books and exhibitions that resulted from these projects.

Davidson is mainly interested in documenting the struggles and triumphs of people as they go through their lives - the American Dream laid bare. His photographs are powerful, truthful, sometimes brutal, and often breathtaking. Davidson's images are enriched by a quietness that speaks volumes about the profiles of the characters he photographed. Predominantly considered by the media as aggressors to society, Davidson focuses on their human qualities, revealing the intimate and affectionate nature of these groups. Through this honesty Davidson gives his subjects a voice and a platform to be remembered by, but he also finds the process personally satisfying. As he once said: "My pictures are not escapes from reality, but a contemplation of reality, so that I can experience life in a deeper way."

Davidson has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, and two grants from the USA's National Endowment for the Arts. He has had solo exhibitions at many major institutions including the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Modern, London; and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, Washington DC. He currently lives and works in New York.

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