Before Stanley Kubrick Was Famous He Took These Stunning Photos Of New York In The 1940s

stanley kubrick

Photo: Wikimedia, CC.

You know Stanley Kubrick as the director of A Clockwork Orange, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut.But before he got to Hollywood, the Bronx-born Kubrick became an apprentice photographer at Look magazine in 1946. He was just 18 years old. During that period, he lived in Greenwich Village with his sweetheart, and later his wife, Toba Metz.

According to Flavorwire, he was Look’s youngest staff photographer and “he often shot on the sly, his camera concealed in a paper bag with a hole in it.”

His photos are packed with drama and beauty—clearly, he had an eye for an image, moving or still.

Kubrick's New York photos can be grouped into themes. Like a lot of photographers, he liked to shoot women. This is the actress Betsy von Furstenberg.

Mostly, Kubrick's women were not celebrities. He liked to find beauty in the ordinary.

He was also fascinated by the world of work. (This is a student carrying textbooks.)

Kubrick gravitated toward performers. This is Johnny Grant, the radio personality.

'Johnny on the Spot' in 1947.

Showgirls at the Copacabana Club – 1948.

This image of a sideshow barker was probably taken in Coney Island.

And you thought your tattoos and piercings were daring.

That's a rollerskating chimpanzee.

This isn't the Coney Island Cyclone—it's the Palisades amusement park in New Jersey, long since demolished.

Another girl in a babydoll dress. Feel familiar? Well ...

... that babydoll look cropped up in 1980's 'The Shining,' 35 years later.

Kubrick liked to shoot fighters. This is Walter Cartier.

These kids are boxing in the Police Athletic League.

This is a still from 'The Day of the Fight,' a short film Kubrik made in 1951.

Was this scene an early inspiration for the latter part of his career?

Buildings and heights are another repeated theme in Kubrick's photography. That's a shoeshine boy on the fence.

More shoeshine boys, in 1947.

And again.

This is a scene from a lab at Columbia University. If it feels familiar ...

... it's because the lighting is arranged the same way in 'Dr. Strangelove,

Horn & Hardart was an automat, one of those places where food was delivered via slot machines.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower at Columbia University.

Waiting at the dentist's office.

A taxi driver changes a tire.

A men's fashion show.

That's Kubrick against the wall.

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