Before Stanley Kubrick was a filmmaker, he was a photojournalist. At the age of 17, he started shooting for Look magazine in New York, where he shot everyday city life alongside celebrity portraits, all graced with a film noir aesthetic that was new to photojournalism at the time.
From gritty to glamorous, Kubrick shot it all—from portraits of Frank Sinatra to award-winning boxers, couples smooching in the metro and circus leaders, dancers, businessmen and actors. Some of his best photographs are on view from October 17 at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. Through a Different Lens: Stanley Kubrick Photographs is a sprawling retrospective of Kubrick’s early black-and-white shots, long before he became the legendary director behind classics including 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange.
Featuring over 100 photographs taken from 1945 to 1950, this exhibition reveals how the Bronx-born filmmaker’s formative years laid the groundwork for his compelling storytelling and dark visual style. They also show a noir side of New York that’s no longer around. Sean Corcoran, the curator of prints and photographs at the Museum of the City of New York, who curated the exhibition, walks us through 10 of the photos in the exhibition, with historical commentary.
Originally Appeared on Vanity Fair