Untitled (51524)

Brooklyn Gang

Untitled (51524)

1959

Bruce Davidson

(American, b. 1933)

Gelatin silver print

Paper: 20.3 x 25.4 cm (8 x 10 in.)

Gift of an anonymous donor 2018.712

Location

Did you know?

One of Davidson’s best-known series, Brooklyn Gang was inspired by a news story he read about a teenage gang called the Jokers.

Description

Gang membership was exclusively male, but the members’ girlfriends appear frequently in Davidson’s photographs. Some of the pictures depict the teenagers exploring lust and love and the boys struggling to define and prove their masculinity. Here a boy struggles to hold the attention of a girl, first by charm and then by demonstrating his strength in age-old courting rituals. Looking back at the series in 1998, Davidson said that he felt “the reason that body of work has survived is that it’s about emotion. That kind of mood and tension and sexual vitality, that’s what those pictures were really about.”

See also
Department: 
Photography
Type of artwork: 
Photograph

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