It was the 1950′s; a time when tattoos were still a symbol of rebellion, music still crackled and flowed from the flashing lights of a jukebox, and cigarettes were mandatory – indoors or out. We may think of such things as mere cliches. Are the film depictions of greaser boys with rolled-up sleeves and tiny-waisted girls in circle skirts faithful representations of the day?

Looking at Bruce Davidson‘s Brooklyn Gang project (1959), the answer would be yes. The tattoos, the cigarettes, the boys’ rockabilly hair; you might as well be looking at a film set from Rebel Without A Cause. Davidson’s photos are beautiful in their candor and compelling in their detail.

Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Click on the picture to view the full gallery

Click the thumbnails for full pictures:
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959
Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959

Brooklyn Gang by Bruce Davidson, 1959

Thanks to How to be a Retronaut for the heads up.

You can see the whole gallery by clicking on the picture above; and boys, if you want to try out the fifties look for yourself you can read up on how to create rockabilly hair for men by following that link.

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