(American, b. 1933)
Gelatin silver print
Paper: 35.6 x 27.9 cm (14 x 11 in.)
Gift of an anonymous donor 2018.689
© Bruce Davidson/Magnum Photos
Davidson’s series Brooklyn Gang was inspired by a news story he read about a teenage gang called the Jokers.
The gang members, most of whom were 15 or 16 years old, thought tattoos made them look older and might help them get served at bars. Tattoos were also a demonstration of masculinity and a rite of passage. Bob Powers, seen here at age 15 displaying his first tattoo, recalled years later that “the first time you get a tattoo it’s scary. I was sitting back with a cigarette like it’s nothing. Meanwhile, it was killing me. . . . I got ‘Bobby’ with stars around it. . . . They said, ‘Get your name.’ . . . I hated it forever.”
The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.