David Bradford: New York Moment
A good novelist has to be a good listener, picking up conversational nuances that help shape characters pulled from the writer’s imagination. A good visual story teller has to be an astute observer and be open to small moments that reveal a narrative in a split second. And what better place to observe those moments than behind the wheel of a cab in New York City.
David Bradford is a cab driver, but also a well regarded New York-based photographer with a long history of artistic endeavors. In 1978, with a degree in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design, Bradford moved to New York City. He became an art director for Saks Fifth Avenue, serving their advertising department for a decade. David began freelance illustration and design work after leaving Saks and started driving a taxi in 1990, hoping to find more freedom for independent projects. Soon David was taking photographs from the cab to utilize as reference for his drawings. Then, in 1993, he embraced photography in earnest and began the creation of his personal portrait of the city.
Ten years of shooting the city culminated in the book “Drive-By Shootings,” which was published in June of 2000 to critical acclaim and commercial success. It sold out it’s first printing of 50,000 within three months, riding the top of the German photo book bestseller list. “Drive by Shootings” is in its second printing, April 2005.
“Back Seat Book” is David’s second book published December, 06. This is a more intimate, reflective work borne of the catastrophe that occurred in the city in 2001. A more personal work that captures the breadth of humanity – the whole world of people that can pass through the back seat of a New York City Taxi.
These days David still captures images of the city from behind the wheel, but now he does it with his cell phone video camera. These 15 second movies are often enhanced by incidental music that is captured from the taxi radio at the moment they are shot. No post-production manipulation is ever involved. Featured below is a movie created by the production company, Rumur.
David’s images taken from his cab….
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Jonathan Higbee: Coincidences: New York By ChanceNovember 4th, 2019
Leah Frances: American SquaresSeptember 26th, 2019
Rust Belt BiennialSeptember 20th, 2019
2019 Lenscratch Student Prize: Third Place: Reuben RaddingJuly 24th, 2019