A while ago the Photo London event happened.
It’s a huge event, primarily for art buyers to… you guessed it: buy photography. It also features a lot of talks and book signings.
When I heard that both, Joel Meyerowitz and, behold!, Bruce Gilden would be there, I immediately hooked up for their talks. Unfortunately, I missed Bruces’ talk as I was stuck in traffic on the motorway but I did manage to see Joel Meyerowitz. What a guy, what a legend. Who knew he is into still lifes now? I also had no idea he’s been shooting street portraits in large format for ages now. That’s so cool. He is really inspiring to listen to. If you get the chance: Go see him at a talk or buy one of his books. Definitely worth it!
After my disappointment to have missed out on Bruces’ talk, I found out that he was going to do a book signing at the Leica suite on the terrace of Somerset House (Bruce is the only reason I want a Leica M6…lol)
Now that got me really excited and I decided to splash out on an entry ticket.
On the day, I got really excited as I am a total fanboy and devotee of Bruces’ work. And then the time arrived and I was front of the queue.
I had the book “Go” with me which is a now very rare and expensive second hand photo when Bruce visited Japan. Some of his best work is in this book and I found it more than appropriate to have it signed by him.
The book was a present I received from my fiancé and now wife and I love her very much for that.
I was over the moon when I got it. As I said it is very hard to find.
Bruce of course knows that.
The first thing he said to me was “Where did you get that from?” and I duly answered that it was a present. He then asked how much my wife paid for it and I said maybe so and so much which he thought was cheap!
He said my fiancé/wife must really like me to give me such a nice present and that I should be careful to keep the book should we divorce (!) as when he got divorced for the first time, his then wife wanted some of his cameras which he had to hand over reluctantly…
His current wife standing behind him, half nodding, half rolling her eyes…
He signed the book with “Your fiancé gave it to you! Best, Bruce!”. Which is a bit weird. But then again: He is a bit weird too and I like him exactly for that.
Some people and especially autograph pros would probably scoff at a personalised dedication in a book as the re-sale value will probably drop dramatically.
This is not why I had this booked signed though. I love his work so much and I treasure this book as it was given to me by the most special person in my life…. I am just never going to sell it.
There you go.
Here’s a picture of me and Bruce in which I look a bit retarded holding my book and he looks a bit startled and annoyed… (the lady behind me in the queue urged me to have a photo taken and volunteered to do it and Bruce was just like “Alright… as long as I don’t have to stand up…”)
Have a good one!