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Stanley Kubrick's rare photography in new exhibit shows New York's 1940s in gritty and candid shots


Before there was the cult classic Clockwork Orange, director Stanley Kubrick cut his teeth on the streets of New York City as a photographer for Look magazine. 

The late director started his journey into the visual arts when he was just 17, living in the Bronx in 1945.

Kubrick joined the staff at Look full time in 1946 and by 1950 he quit.  

‘By the time I was 21 I had four years of seeing how things worked in the world,’ Kubrick said in an interview in 1972, the same year that Clockwork Orange was released. ‘I think if I had gone to college I would never have been a director.’

Before he became a director, Stanley Kubrick was capturing NYC life for Look Magazine, including that of well-coiffed city pups. His photo collection will be on display at the Museum of the City of New York

Before he became a director, Stanley Kubrick was capturing NYC life for Look Magazine, including that of well-coiffed city pups. His photo collection will be on display at the Museum of the City of New York

Stanley Kubrick photographed boxers a few times in his early years as he was he developing his filmmaker's eye. He started working as a photographer with Look magazine at just 17-years-old 

Stanley Kubrick photographed boxers a few times in his early years as he was he developing his filmmaker’s eye. He started working as a photographer with Look magazine at just 17-years-old 

Summer romance in the city: Fire escapes, subway cars, park benches. Kubrick had a keen eye for capturing young love as a photographer before he became a film director

Summer romance in the city: Fire escapes, subway cars, park benches. Kubrick had a keen eye for capturing young love as a photographer before he became a film director

The selfie, before the selfie: Kubrick takes his own portrait, years before he became a director 

The selfie, before the selfie: Kubrick takes his own portrait, years before he became a director 

When he was just a teenager from the Bronx, Stanley Kubrick was already capturing the humanity of everyday life in NYC, from subways to circuses. This photo is from the collection called Life and Love on the New York City Subway 

When he was just a teenager from the Bronx, Stanley Kubrick was already capturing the humanity of everyday life in NYC, from subways to circuses. This photo is from the collection called Life and Love on the New York City Subway 

Kubrick's Shoeshine Boy as captured in 1947 will be on display as part of the Through a Different Lens Stanley Kubrick Photographs exhibit

Kubrick’s Shoeshine Boy as captured in 1947 will be on display as part of the Through a Different Lens Stanley Kubrick Photographs exhibit

Kubrick shot this image of the renowned boxer, in the eponymous photo titled: Rocky Graziano He's a Good Boy Now (1950)

Kubrick shot this image of the renowned boxer, in the eponymous photo titled: Rocky Graziano He’s a Good Boy Now (1950)

Kubrick here seen shooting on the set of the 'The Shining' (1980) at his home in England, decades after he started his visual arts career as a photographer for Look magazine in the 1940s

Kubrick here seen shooting on the set of the ‘The Shining’ (1980) at his home in England, decades after he started his visual arts career as a photographer for Look magazine in the 1940s

Kurbrick, who also directed classics like The Shining, Full Metal Jacket, Dr. Strangelove and 2001: A Space Odyssey, was able to capture the post war years for Look, however his assignments were standard issue requests from editors to go along with story-lines, according to the New York Times.

Over 120 of his photographs will be displayed in a collection called ‘Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs,’ opening on May 3 and going until October 28 at the Museum of the City of New York. 

Some of the photos on display went unpublished by Look. The collection features 129 photography assignments and more than 12,000 negatives from his five years as a staff photographer.

While the photo assignments were of the more mundane, everyday life of New York, the photos still give a nod to his later directing abilities.

Kubrick’s youth, combined with his unique perspective manage to capture a grittier nature, while enticing the viewer to wonder what’s next.

  



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