“Hey, Mister, throw me some beads!” It is part of the street lingo of Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The floats of the Mardi Gras parade hand out beads, doubloons, and other trinkets to spectators lining the streets.
Bruce Gilden was a young photographer in 1974 when he first went to Mardi Gras to shoot his first personal essay away from New York City. However, when Gilden first arrived in New Orleans, he found himself in a “pagan dream where you can be whatever you want.” As a result, Gilden made seven trips down to Bourbon Street between 1974 and 1982.
Gilden captured Mardi Gras’ energy, mentality, and social, cultural mores in the same way he captured New York’s iconic street scenes.