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Stanley Kubrick: NYC subway photographer

Previously we shared 10 facts about director Stanley Kubrick you might’ve not known. As an addendum to that I want to add that did you know that prior to his film career, Kubrick worked as a staff photographer for LOOK Magazine? LOOK was a bi-weekly, a la LIFE, magazine, which ran from 1937 to 1971. Kubrick completed over 300 assignments between 1946 and 1951. As a New York City resident, the one that fascinates me the most is his gig covering New York City subway straphangers in 1946. As the MCNY blog points out, “In 1938 Walker Evans shot many amazing portraits of unknowing riders with a camera hidden in his coat. This may have influenced Kubrick’s work. This Kubrick image [pictured above] is a very “shot from the hip,” Walker Evans-style portrait.” I’ve always been a fan of Walker Evans and even blogged about him few years back, noting, “While the fashion and ethnicities of straphangers have changed, the facial expressions have not.” Did I just quote myself? What. A. Douche. I find this observation to be true here too. Stanley Kubrick’s photos just seem like an updated look into this world. I especially like the pithy captions that accompanies his photos, such as this one for the picture below: Couple playing footsies on a subway.

I wonder what this pre-famous Kubrick would say if I traveled back in time and told him that his films would inspire art such as this massive VHS tape and this tape measure by Tom Sachs.