Jan 16, 2020

Untitled (45470)

Brooklyn Gang

Untitled (45470)


Bruce Davidson

(American, b. 1933)

Gelatin silver print

Paper: 76.2 x 101.6 cm (30 x 40 in.)

Gift of an anonymous donor 2018.683


Did you know?

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


Shown here at Coney Island, Joker Artie Giammarino, who later became a police officer, rolls up his sleeve while Cathy O’Neal, “beautiful like Brigitte Bardot,” according to fellow gang member Bob Powers, fixes her hair using the mirror on a cigarette machine. At 13 she started dating gang member Junior Rice, the epitome of “cool,” who carried counterculture Beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl in his back pocket. Before she had turned 15, Cathy got pregnant and married Junior, but the couple later divorced. Junior became a heroin dealer and user. Years after their divorce, Cathy committed suicide by shotgun.

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