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Stanley Kubrick-LOOK Magazine-NYC-7

When Stanley Kubrick was just 17 years old, he began working at LOOK Magazine in New York City. Long before he was the celebrated cinema auteur, he brought his evolving sensibility to the streets and nightlife of New York City. The Museum of the City of New York has an incredible 15,000+ collection of these images, which Kubrick shot over the course of 129 assignments for LOOK between 1945 and 1950. As the Museum writes, “in these assignments, Kubrick captured the pathos of ordinary life in a way that belied his young age.” Just a kid from the Bronx, Kubrick was the youngest photographer on the staff of LOOK.

Kubrick captured a wide range of topics, from the daily adventures of a shoe shine boy or a showgirl to the architectural elite in costume at the Beaux Arts Ball. There were curiosities at the zoo and intimate moments caught in stairwells, mundane newspaper stands (photographed repeatedly) and ordinary folks walking down the street. During this five year stint, Kubrick was perfecting the art of the candid photograph, stating at 19 years old, “I think aesthetically recording spontaneous action, rather than carefully posing a picture, is the most valid and expressive use of photography.”

Here’s a selection of just ten images from this vast collection:

Stanley Kubrick-LOOK Magazine-NYC-3“Shoe Shine Boy Mickey Climbing a Fence”

Stanley Kubrick-LOOK Magazine-NYC-9“Newsstand”

Stanley Kubrick-LOOK Magazine-NYC-5“Circus: Man with Tattoos and Body Modification”

Stanley Kubrick-LOOK Magazine-NYC-6“How People Look to Monkeys”

Stanley Kubrick-LOOK Magazine-NYC“Love is Everywhere”

Stanley Kubrick-LOOK Magazine-NYC-8“Woman Walking Down the Street”

Stanley Kubrick-LOOK Magazine-NYC-2“Columbia University, Students in a Bar”

Stanley Kubrick-LOOK Magazine-NYC-4The Beaux Arts Ball

See the complete collection at the Museum of the City of New York. Next, check out Walker Evans’ portraits in the NYC subway.  

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