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Street photographer Bruce Gilden candidly tells you why your photos suck

As we know, art is subjective. What one views as a masterpiece, another may see it as garbage. Which is the beauty of art: it stirs our emotions and forces us to give an opinion. And criticism is something that Magum photographer Bruce Gilden doesn’t hold back. For a photo-critique show, Take it or Leave it with Bruce Gilden, Vice asked the Guggenheim Fellow about his thoughts on art photography and street photography – the latter being the medium Gilden, who has been shooting since 1968, is known for.

“In Take it or Leave it with Bruce Gilden, the eponymous photographer tells viewers whether the works of up-and-coming photographers are transcendent, total crap, or somewhere in-between,” Vice says about the new show. In each video, Gilden, who’s a Vice contributing photographer, offers brutally honest critiques about art that people have submitted.

It’s easy to dismiss something as bad art, but Gilden actually goes into great detail about his thought process, explaining what it is about the photos that form his opinion – why he likes or dislikes something. In one street photo, he likes the concept, but dismisses it simply because it’s out of focus. In an art photo, he thought the photographer went a bit overboard and made it look too commercial. You may not agree with what Gilden says, but the videos are funny and educational, and give an insight into what a pro photographer thinks about.

(Credit: Vice Media)