Gilden gets up-close and personal with Rome’s residents for Beaten & Blown By The Wind.

By Balthazar Malevolent


Bruce Gilden is renowned for being close-and-personal with an eclectic array of subjects, capturing people's candid shots as they go about their lives. Therefore it makes sense that the American Magnum photographer immediately hit it off with Alessandro Michele, given the runways and editorials of the Gucci designer are about as eclectic as they come in.

Bruce Gilden x Gucci book.

The two are now joining forces on a new project with Michele first enlisting Gilden to shoot the front row of Gucci's AW20 menswear show back in January, with the likes of Tyler, The Creator, Anderson. Paak, Richard Hell and Earl Cave among those caught. This time around, it takes the form of a limited edition coffee table tome full of bold black-and-white images and larger-than-life characters (all dressed up in Gucci's Pre-Fall 2020, obvs).

"Bruce is a lovely person with a poetic gaze on humanity," says his collaborator Michele. "We share the same love for faces and a fascination with voices, gestures and appearances. Operating with a photographer means looking through the eyes of another and seeing through Bruce's was great. I felt like I was in a research laboratory looking at stuff under a microscope.

Beaten & Blown By The Wind, shot in Rome's pre-pandemic streets, sees shoppers running errands star alongside Italian model Bernadetta Barzini and fashion editor and activist Bethann Hardison as well. A woman carrying a tiny dog under her arm stares into Gilden's lens in a particularly striking, flash-lit photo, slightly dazzled and seemingly not quite sure what to do with what's going on.

"It was the end of two long days I spent shooting for Gucci on the street and I was tired, going back to the hotel," explains the photographer. "The light of December faded, the street was full of shoppers and I saw this beautiful young woman carrying her dog. I took a shot very quickly and her husband was very curious about why I photographed her. Before I left, we had a fun chat and felt very festive – it was just a few weeks before Christmas."

*Designer Rick Owens has published several photography books in collaboration with various artists. Check them out!

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