Looking for a Valentine’s day gift for your sweetie? Why not the beautiful limited edition photograph by Bruce Davidson from his 1980 series Subway, reissued last fall. Untitled, (couple on platform) depicts a public display of personal affection in stunning Kodachrome color–one of his rare forays outside of black and white film.
In this video clip for Aperture, Davidson explains that for the longest time he “found that mostly color is gratuitous, because we have it.” When he began the project, for about half the time he was shooting in black and white. At one point, he says, “something came over me,” and he loaded that legendary, now-discontinued color film.
To capture the cultural fabric of New York City at that particular time, he needed the extremes of color. “The people in the subway,” he says, “their flesh juxtaposed against the graffiti, the penetrating effect of the strobe light itself, and even the hollow darkness of the tunnels, inspired an aesthetic that goes unnoticed by passengers who are trapped underground, hiding behind masks, and closed off from each other.”